2021 · volume 12

President's Message

Boozhoo, members!

We’ll be heading into 2022 in a few short weeks!

It’s been a busy year for us, and there have been many reasons why it has also been a difficult one for our communities. We have worked to continue growing our membership,  advocating for our region, and maintaining our communications, events, and engagement online to prioritize the health and safety of our communities. Despite the challenges, we are very proud to look back on 2021.

We hope you enjoy our Year-in-Review as much as we enjoyed revisiting the events and accomplishments of our past year! The world has been a different place these past two years, but its good to know that even when our sense of communication has to change, our sense of community has remained the same.



Year In Review

Monthly Newsletter Launch

The pandemic affected the ability of many organizations to keep in touch with their networks. Beginning January of 2021, we upped our newsletter publication to a monthly virtual format, and began soliciting our membership for their news and updates to keep us connected.

Ontario Pre-Budget Consultation

In January 2021, Board Member Jason Thompson took part in the Ontario Pre-Budget Consultation, advocating to address Indigenous supply chain challenges and support local and Indigenous business initiatives.

Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership Virtual Campfire Series

January, February & March 2021 we co-hosted a series of three webinars exploring how Indigenous communities can benefit from business opportunities related to land stewardship and reducing climate change impacts. These discussions led to wonderful exploration about how to approach current barriers to involvement and how to advance Indigenous-led climate solutions in Canada.

Ontario Chamber of Commerce Vaccination Support Council

Board Member Steven McCoy represented the ABPA as a member of Ontario’s Vaccination Support Council, leveraging the businesses and organizations involved and representing hundreds of thousands of employees from across the Province to support Ontario’s historic vaccination effort.

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February of 2021, the ABPA spoke to CBC News about the importance of Indigenous consultation early on in mining strategies and exploration.

Bill 269 and Bill 288 Presentations Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs

In April and June of 2021, the ABPA represented Northern Ontario and Indigenous business concerns and presented to the standing committee on Finance and Economic Affairs related to Bill 269 and Bill 288, respectively. Excellent discussions were had on both occasions about considerations for these bills to eliminate the socio-economic divide.

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P2IP Online

April, May & June of 2021 we moved our Pathways to Indigenous Prosperity program (P2IP) online with a web series featuring Indigenous & Ally professionals in discussion on a variety of topics relevant to our Northern Business network. We hosted a webinar on optimizing virtual communication, a presentation on strategic partnerships and procurement in major developments featuring speakers from Supercom and Valard Construction, and a panel discussion with Indigenous entrepreneurs and business leaders on grass roots growth and community-led success. 

Did you miss it? Don’t worry. You can view our recorded session at

Capital is Key

In May of 2021, President Jason Rasevych represented the ABPA as a panelist for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce event Capital is Key: an industry-led discussion on how Ontario can finance entrepreneurship after COVID-19.

Statements on Kamloops, Cowesses, and Ongoing Inquiries

At the end of May 2021, we joined our communities in shock and mourning as the appalling news broke. We have long known from the whispers from our Elders, but at last the realities of Residential Schools was confirmed in first one, and then several locations across Canada and investigation is now ongoing. We joined Indigenous organizations, collectives, and communities across Canada and the world in a call to action that apology is hollow without action, and that perpetrators from the Church, Federal and Provincial Governments, and RCMP must be brought to justice.

Indigenous Women & Entrepreneurship

In May 2021, Vice President Rachael Paquette spoke with Wawatay news about the new federal budget and how 22 million in National Aboriginal Capital Corporation of Canada funding can change the landscape for Indigenous women in business.

Presentation to Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC)

Jason Rasevych & Jason Thompson presented to Thunder Bay CEDC on inclusion and reconciliation for Indigenous peoples and businesses. Reconciliation can only happen when all parties are part of the solution.

Candidates Forum with Thunder Bay Chamber & NetNewsLedger

In the wake of an upcoming election announcement, we partnered once more with Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and media partner NetNewsLedger to bring candidates together for Superior North and Rainy River districts. This year’s event was closed to the public due to health concerns, but the debates were broadcast from all partner channels on September 9th & 10th 2020. 

Stronger Together | AGM & Forum

In October of 2021, we hosted our second Annual General Meeting and Conference. We welcomed back MPP Sol Mamakwa for our opening panel, as well as seven more dynamic speakers to discuss northern business issues like high speed internet access with the rapid lynx project and strategic partnership building. 

Want to learn more? You can view or download our AGM booklet by clicking the icon below.


Mining the Northwest Virtual Tradeshow

In December of 2021, we ended the year with a final event, hosting a conference day at TradeEx’s Mining the Northwest virtual event. Jason Rasevych, Rachael Paquette, Jason Thompson, and Brian Davies led respective discussions for resource industry stakeholders on ESG investment, Indigenous ownership in infrastructure development projects, change through action with Indigenous procurement, and recommendations for Non-Indigenous parties to seek work with Indigenous communities and businesses.


We look forward to being back in January, and we at the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association wish you a restful and pleasant holiday with your families and communities!

Benefits of your membership

We provide information sessions and networking events targeting relevant topics and projects for business expansion in Northern Ontario.

We develop best practices for major First Nations development projects and non-First Nations businesses related to procurement policies and human resource polices focused on inclusion.

Members will be the first to know about special discounts on all events and access to new programs for doing business in Northern Ontario

Members will have better access to economic buyers and key decision makers in Northern Ontario through our business directory and special events and conferences.

We Need to hear from you.

Are there topics or areas of interest that you want to learn more about?

Do you know an Indigenous professional who you think our members should hear from?  

What do you want to see from your ABPA membership?

We try to keep an ear to the ground, but Indigenous enterprise is a thriving, growing economy, and there’s always new voices to hear and new faces to see.

 If there is something or someone you would want to see in a seminar, workshop, or networking event, we invite you to get in touch. Feel welcome to pitch us a topic, nominate a speaker, or simply tell us what’s important to you. Let us know…

Sponsor an ABPA Newsletter Today

Would you like to see your name and logo featured for our Anishnawbe Business Professionals community? Sponsor our newsletter. Your name, logo, description of services and contact information will be distributed to our membership and all our social media channels. If your Business or Organization would like to sponsor a future Newsletter, reach out to us at

Ch-Miigwetch for your support for Indigenous Business!