What defines an Indigenous business? A guide aims to weed out fronts and frauds

A coalition of Indigenous economic organizations wants the federal government to adopt new definitions of what constitutes Indigenous businesses and organizations into its procurement process.

“We know that there are shell companies that maybe have an Indigenous front person that’s being used really to access a lot of set-asides and procurement opportunities,” said Dawn Madahbee Leach, chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board and a member of the National Indigenous Procurement Working Group.

The new Indigenous Business Definitions were released by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) last week and developed by the National Indigenous Procurement Working Group, which consists of representatives of various Indigenous organizations, government departments, and industry associations.

In 2021, the federal government announced a government-wide procurement target of five per cent for Indigenous businesses. The federal government’s Indigenous Business Directory includes a list of Indigenous companies eligible for special consideration when bidding on some federal contracts.

The new guide provides criteria for Indigenous sole proprietorships, corporations, non-profits, charitable organizations, co-operatives, and partnerships.

Dawn Madahbee Leach is chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board and a member of the National Indigenous Procurement Working Group. (Submitted by Dawn Madahbee Leach)

Some of the criteria are similar to what is used by the federal government, such as requiring 51 per cent ownership and control by Indigenous people, while other definitions are tougher, said Madahbee Leach.

She hopes the definitions will help weed out businesses that aren’t Indigenous-led, false claims of Indigeneity and tokenism from opportunities meant for First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

“It’s going to make a difference to ensure that those set-asides that are meant for our people go to our people,” said Madahbee Leach.

“There’s so much opportunities to involve our people in Canada’s economy and procurement is one of the best ways.”

NACCA’s criteria for proof of Indigeneity excludes membership in some organizations the federal government’s Indigenous Business Directory criteria includes.

“We’ve contested that directory and we said we need to maintain it because we know how to determine Indigeneity way better than, you know, a civil servant,” said Madahbee Leach.

Controls versus barriers

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, which was part of the working group that developed the definitions, said it has concerns about the criteria around joint ventures and partnerships, and that the definitions require further work.

The guide’s criteria include agreements that define the Indigenous partner as “having the

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Indo Tambangraya (ITMG) Aims for Coal Exports to Europe in 2023

Bisnis.comJAKARTA – Listed coal producers PT Indo Tambangraya Megah Tbk. (ITMG) is targeting the coal export market to Europe in 2023.

ITMG Director of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations Yulius Gozali said that this year ITMG would still focus on targeting export in established markets such as China and Japan. ITMG also continues to look for opportunities in countries with growing economies such as Bangladesh, Vietnam and other countries.

“In addition, various European countries will also become potential markets in 2023, because they use coal as an energy option. This is because of conflict Russia-Ukraine which is still ongoing,” Yulius told Bisnis, Monday (27/2/2023).

For information, throughout 2022 ITMG was recorded to have exported US$958.7 million to several countries in Asia such as Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Korea. Exports to this region increased by 45.83 percent compared to US$657.4 million in 2021.

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