2021 · volume 3

President's Message

Boozhoo, members!

We had a great deal of response to our first Newsletter of the year, and several members reached out with their news and updates to share with our growing network. We have increased our newsletter production for 2021, and we hope this monthly communication will be a way to encourage our Anishnawbe businesses and allies to keep in touch, connect with one another, and maintain our business connections. 

We have our second fireside chat coming up on March 25th, and we are planning more virtual events throughout the year to keep our network strong and growing.

We at the ABPA will continue to advocate for our First Nations businesses and entrepreneurs in Northern Ontario, and we are confident that we will be able to emerge stronger together. We look forward to bringing our resources and advocacy to our membership through online gatherings and events, so that we can maintain and grow our networks even during this time of difficulty. We look forward to virtually seeing you, and invite your to share your thoughts with us at




Welcome to Sister Bear Designs! Sister Bear Designs, operating out of Thunder Bay, is a household business of four generations of traditional Abiimadgamowin artisans. Sewing, beading, tanning, quill and birch pieces, and unique jewelry and clothing items in contemporary and traditional styles are available. You can check out Sister Bear designs at the Thunder Bay Farmers Market (upstairs), on Facebook at @sisterbeardesigns, or visit their website below:

In the community

Upcoming Webinar on Thursday, March 25th! The second of three in the ABPA’s ongoing partnership with Conservation through Reconciliation, this upcoming Fireside Chat will explore the unique perspective of Coastal First Nations and the use of carbon offsets to support conservation efforts. Moderated by Jason Rasevych, the panel includes Kelly Brown of Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management and Paul Kariya of Coastal First Nations.

Register Today

See past webinars here:

Member organization NADF has reached an incredible milestone, with 50 million in funds disbursed to help create, maintain, and grow Indigenous Business in Northern Ontario. Congratulations to NADF and to ABPA Board Member Brian Davey on this achievement for economic development for our region and for the Indigenous economy. For more details on this accomplishment and NADF’s history, you can view their inspiring video.

Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is currently doing a research project on COVID-19 and the impacts on Indigenous women’s businesses and business development. ONWA invites Indigenous women who currently own a business (or are thinking about developing a business) to participate in this survey before March 26th, 2021. For any questions about the project, or to make arrangements to complete the survey by phone, please feel free to reach out to Rilee Willianen, Policy Analyst, at


BMO has a new program for Personal Banking, offering all Indigenous people one year of free banking plus preferred rates. BMO. This is just one of many steps BMO is taking ensure Indigenous customers feel welcomed and valued. You can view or download more program details and contact information below:

Supercom Industries has partnered with Nextbridge Infrastructure to create the Indigenous Facilitator Program. Individuals supported by their community leadership can be provided with training to monitor and report on ongoing projects to their communities, and be mentored by an Elder to ensure cultural perspectives are incorporated into the monitoring process. View or download the flyer below.

Contact Robert Starr for details on how to incorporate this model in your community. 

Do you have upcoming news, events, or something to share with the network? Email us for inclusion in the next newsletter.

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!