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It’s about growing our relationships with Aboriginal communities

By: Marie-Claire Asseko
March 2, 2017

In the midst of global political changes, one question remains for all Canadians: “how will Canada evolve to address its ongoing economic uncertainty?”

Expanding the marketplace to Aboriginal-owned organizations and fostering Aboriginal inclusion within its workforce are avenues that GardaWorld has been exploring for decades.

In the late 1990’s, GardaWorld took the opportunity to build something pretty unique: replicating the success of regional partnerships with Aboriginal communities across Canada to create even more employment and business development opportunities. That’s why GardaWorld has been a member of the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association (NAABA) and Indigenous Works (formerly known as the Aboriginal Human Resource Council) for years – working together to prove to corporate Canada that these partnerships offer real value as we grew our business in a way that benefited both our clients and our Aboriginal communities’ partners.

The relationship between GardaWorld and the McKay Metis Group is a living proof of how joint ventures can be a great way for Aboriginal-owned entities to develop. The partnership started in July 2013 with a joint venture agreement. It evolved in June 2014 to GardaNorth, a business venture that is 51% owned by the Fort McKay Metis community. With GardaNorth, GardaWorld and the McKay Metis Group are able to bid on better opportunities from larger companies in the Fort McKay Metis territory. And a growing business means more employment opportunities as well for Aboriginal people in Alberta.

On March 1, Angela Krszwda, Director of Field Support and Special Projects, and April Stone, Director Aboriginal Relations & Economic Development, attended the 9th Annual Aboriginal Business Showcase hosted by the NAABA in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Dwayne Roth LL.B, Chief Executive Officer of the McKay Metis, came to support them. The event is the opportunity for members (mainly Aboriginal business owners) and associate members (industry, education and NAABA non-profit partners) to discuss theirs challenges.

Such events are important for GardaWorld as we strive to develop both an inclusive workplace and marketplace. We believe that developing mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal people businesses and communities is the way for the Canadian economy to grow value in the coming years.