Panelists will share their experiences, successes and challenges related to the Indigenous Procurement.
- John Giraldez, Indigenous Services Canada
- John Johnstone, Office of Small & Medium Enterprise, PSPC
- David Acco, Acosys Consulting
- Jeff Provost, Bird Construction
- Mark Dokis, National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association
Indigenous Services Canada
John Giraldez is a Director (Business Development) at Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. His Directorate is responsible for supporting Indigenous businesses through the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business, Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program, Article 24 and other initiatives. Previously, he was a Director at Policy Horizons Canada, a foresight organization within the Government of Canada. He was also a Senior Regulatory Adviser at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the Privy Council Office where he led the development of several major regulatory policy initiatives and was part of the Red Tape Reduction Commission Secretariat. He also worked at the Regulatory Affairs group of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. In 1996, he joined the Government of Canada as an economist and was responsible for developing and running econometric models and doing environmental economics policy studies. Previously, he was a Research Associate at the University of Guelph and a Management Consultant at Deloitte. John obtained his M.Sc. from the University of Guelph and his B.Sc. from McGill University in economics.
Office of Small & Medium Enterprise
John manages small business and community engagement for Public Services and Procurement Canada in BC and the Yukon. From general guidance to business specific information, John and his team help businesses navigate the government contracting process utilizing 20 years of experience with the federal government. John has a Bachelor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s University, a Certificate in Project Management and Strategy Leadership from the University of British Columbia and is a certified Project Management Professional.
David Acco is a member of the Metis Nation-Saskatchewan whose roots are tied to Cumberland House, Saskatchewan, as well as being a Red River and Peter Ballyantine Band Cree Nation descendent. He holds an International MBA from the University of Ottawa and has completed a Masters Business Analyst Certificate from the Schulich School of Business at York University. He also holds Graduate Certificate in eCommerce and Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management from McGill University and Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University. David has experience leading teams and working independently on projects varying in size and scope. He has extensive experience in Information Systems and Information Technology (IS/IT) in the telecommunications and engineering industries as a project manager, business analyst and proposals coordinator with companies such as Infoterra (Germany) – now Airbus Space and Defense, and Amdocs Management Services and many non-profit Indigenous organizations. In 2006, David with his partner, Julie Lepage, a member of the Nipissing First Nations, created Acosys Consulting Services. Acosys is a 100% Aboriginal-owned and operated business that provides professional consulting services in Information Technology (IT), Human Resources (HR) and Aboriginal Policy Development. In 2008, Julie and David created an Aboriginal Internship Program which provides the opportunity for Aboriginal talent to work and be mentored on their client projects. Their approach has been recognized by their clients, like RBC and Accenture and has earned Acosys numerous awards including the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority and Supplier Council’s Small Business Achievement Award (2011), the Toronto Board of Trade Award of Business Excellence (2012), and Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO) Aboriginal Private Sector Business Category (2014).
National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association
Mark is a member of the Dokis First Nation in Northeastern Ontario and been with NACCA, since 2017. He graduated with honours from Laurentian University with a Bachelor of Arts in geography. He went on to earn academic certificates in economic development and, business administration and management. Mark has over 30 years of experience in Aboriginal economic, business, and financial services development. In April 2018, Mark was elected as a Trustee to the Okikendawt Hydro Trust to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Trust for the members of the Dokis First Nation. In his free time, Mark enjoys staying at his cottage on Lake Nipissing, hunting, fishing, and curling.
As a proud Métis, born and raised in St. Boniface (Winnipeg), Manitoba, Jeff is passionate about Indigenous engagement and understanding. As a Cando Certified Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer, Jeff works to build respectful relationships and promote open communications with Bird Construction stakeholders and operations across Canada. Bird is currently Bronze PAR certified by the CCAB and is a member of their inaugural group of Aboriginal Procurement Champions. Jeff is Bird’s national lead on Indigenous relations and seeks to increase business opportunities and employment for our Indigenous partners and communities. Jeff has had the pleasure of working with Inuit, First Nations, and Métis communities across Canada to helps bridge connections and build community. Jeff’s education includes: Intro to Project Management, University of Winnipeg; Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer (PAED), Cando; Bachelor of Arts, University of Manitoba & Public Relations, Marketing & Communications Certificate, University of Winnipeg. Jeff is currently serving as Vice Chair Board of Directors on the Debwendon Inc. Steering Committee. He is also Founding National Executive Member & Past Manitoba Director & Chair of Governance Committee, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada.