New strategy seeks to involve more Indigenous businesses in DCC's work

DCC's Gander office signed its first contract with an Inuit-owned construction firm to build a storage facility for the cadet groups on the base. DND, DCC and Nunatsiavut Construction representatives attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the project on November 19, 2020.
DCC's Gander office signed its first contract with an Inuit-owned construction firm to build a storage facility for the cadet groups on the base. DND, DCC and Nunatsiavut Construction representatives attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the project on November 19, 2020.

DCC has embarked on a dedicated strategy to increase Indigenous participation in the contracts it manages for the Department of National Defence.

"We want to provide meaningful work, training and growth for Indigenous people and businesses," says Joel Fisher, DCC's Regional Service Line Leader, Contract Services, in the Ontario Region. "This is in line with the government's mandate to target 5% of spending for contracts and materials to Indigenous businesses."

Joel and all DCC's regional Contract Services teams developed a database of Indigenous firms that operate in the construction and related sectors across the country to help assess Indigenous business capacity and capability in relation to military infrastructure projects.

"This tool is allowing us to be more strategic when selecting contracts to be set aside, in whole or in part, for Indigenous businesses under the federal Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business," Fisher explains.

DCC and DND representatives conducted an information session for local contractors in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories on March 10, 2020.
DCC and DND representatives conducted an information session for local contractors in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories on March 10, 2020.

The team has also been introducing DCC to Indigenous contractors through outreach sessions. These industry gatherings also cover how to submit bids electronically, the security aspects of military contracts, and the support DCC provides to businesses to get security clearances.

An in-person session in Yellowknife in early March 2020, and virtual ones in October for firms near Kingston and Petawawa, and in December for Cold Lake and Bagotville were well received, with contractors remarking on the important contribution to healing and reconciliation DCC's efforts will make. Having more firms bid on contracts will also increase competition and bring more value to taxpayers, Fisher says.

DCC plans to hold outreach sessions for contractors in Esquimalt and Gagetown in the coming months.


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