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This event has now ended.
Session recordings and presentation decks are now inlcuded.
Thank you to all speakers, presenters and participants!


Morning Sessions Recording:

Afternoon Sessions Recording.



Proposed Schedule:


Time (Mountain Time)



































12:00pm - 12:30pm

































Session / Description

Opening Prayer & Welcome


Elder Rick Lightning, Ermineskin Cree Nation

Ray Wanuch with Cando

Cando Presentation Deck here!


Indigenous Business Database and Federal Government Procurement


David Acco with Acosys Consulting and John Johnstone with PAC/PSPC

We will discuss the Indigenous Business Database and its vital role in assisting companies secure contacts with government.

1.   Overview of Indigenous Procurement Opportunities

a.     Being Indigenous business (business case)

b.     PSAB, ITB, IPC, Corporate Diversity Spend

c.     Finding Opportunities – Buy and Sell, Provincial Procurement, Corporate Procurement

d.     Preparing Bids – Government vs. Corporate

e.     Certification

f.      Supplier Database

2.   Delivering Strategic Partnership Initiative on Procurement results-10mins

3.   Showcasing new tools and methods

4.   Overview of the Concierge Service

5.   Q and A -10 min

More information please contact:
Breezy Locke -


EDO Procurement Mentorship Program


Daniel Sandoz and Timothy Low both with PAC/PSPC

Cando PAC Presentation Deck here!

Introduction to the FREE Program for EDO’s and Entrepreneurs. We will be creating cohorts of 6 EDO’s. These EDO’s will spend the distance learning classes (6 or 8 1-Hour sessions at a mutually convenient time) together between November 2021 and March 2022. In the classes we will be looking at the various ways of doing business with the government. We will be looking at what is an Indigenous Benefits Plan (IBP), the procurement strategies for Aboriginal Business (PSAB), the industrial and Technological Benefits (ITP), and more.

Also scheduled between the distance learning classes each EDO will have an individual mentorship conversation to talk about themselves, their community, their successes and preoccupations as the EDO, their community’s businesses, and/or other topics raised by the EDO.

The aim is that the EDOs who form a cohort will continue to stay in touch with each other when the mentorship pilot is over, and function as a support network for each other.

More information please contact:
Daniel Sandoz -
Tim Low -



12:00pm - 12:30pm


Indigenous Business Procurement – Success Panel


David Acco with Acosys Consulting – Moderator

Panelists: John Giraldez with ISC, Cassandra Dorrington with CAMSC, Ray Wanuch with Cando, Julie Ann Wriston - Manager, Supply Chain Equity Diversity and Inclusion with Nutrient, and CAMSC Business Rep #2 (TBA)

In these challenging times, Indigenous businesses are pivoting to new markets and building capacity.  Indigenous participation in formalized procurement processes has increased with businesses positioning themselves to sell more goods and services to all levels of government and corporate Canada.   This panel will include procurement experts and also Indigenous businesses that have navigated through government processes to find success. 

Topics will include:

  • How the Government of Canada does procurement
  • Programs and procurement strategies that can benefit Indigenous businesses and communities
  • Lessons learned from Indigenous businesses that have won government contracts

Opportunity for participants to ask questions of panelists and share experiences.

More information please contact:
Breezy Locke -


Upcoming Procurement Opportunities


Erin Fox with PSPC and Shaymus McFadden with Acosys Consulting

WAHV – Wrecked Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels.

WAHV Presentation Deck here!

Information session for Indigenous businesses featuring opportunities related to the recycling and disposal of wrecked, abandoned, or hazardous watercraft in Canada

More information on WAHV please contact:
Paul Macedo -

To be part of the EDO focus group for WAHV please contact:
Svitlana Konoval -



David Acco with Acosys Consulting

Future Aircrew Training (FAcT) Program

Discussing opportunities with Canada’s Future Aircrew (FAct) Program – the FAct program is designed to train all Royal Canadian Air Forces (RCAF) PILOTS. Training shall be conducted in Moose Jaw, SK, Cold Lake, AB, and Southport, MB. As part of the FAct program, Canada has committed to including an Indigenous Benefits Plan (IBP), to respond to the economic reconciliation with Indigenous People.

More information please contact:
Paul Macedo -


Closing and Thanks  


Elder Rick Lightning, Ermineskin Cree Nation

Ray Wanuch with Cando



Morning Sessions Recording:

Afternoon Sessions Recording.



Presenters Bios


Elder Rick Lightning

Elder Rick LightningElder Rick (Patrick) Lightning is an Elder/Mosom from Maskwacis, raised in the traditions of Plains Cree, Nehiyaw. He is a third generation residential school survivor.

Rick has been a Cultural Support Worker to the Indian Residential School (IRS), Mental Health, Aboriginal Youth Communities Empowerment Strategy (AYCES), and the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) programs at Maskwacis.

Currently Rick is the resident Elder, or Mosom, as he prefers to be called, for the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta.



Ray Wanuch
Executive Director - Cando

Ray WanuchBorn in Edmonton, Alberta, raised on the Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement and is of First Nations descent from the Ermineskin Cree Nation. Obtained a Bachelor of Management degree from the University of Lethbridge in 1989; and possesses the Technician and the Professional Level Certification from Cando.

Current Executive Director of Cando, Ray celebrated 17 years in his current position this past May. Prior to working with Cando, Ray was the CEO of Settlement Investment Corporation and currently serves on Settlement Investment Corporation’s board. Then moved on to facilitate and manage the Métis Settlements Economic Viability Strategy, which received international recognition for sustainable development.  Also managed and taught a self-employment program for the Métis Nation of Alberta. Then formed a consulting company with his wife to produce business and community strategic plans. Volunteer work includes being appointed to the Alberta Water Council by the Métis Settlements General Council; as well as serving as the former Cando Co-President and director representing Alberta. Also served on the Kainai health board and currently advises the Changing Horses board of directors. Changing Horses is made up of a core group of medical professionals and friends from the Kainai 1st Nation who wish to address addictions stemming from drug, alcohol, and the current Opioid crisis. Ray has recently joined NGCI, an economic development corporation serving the Ermineskin Cree Nation.

Married to Nola Wanuch from the Enoch Cree Nation, and have three children: Wendell, Natasha and Sydney, and five wonderful grandchildren.  

Loves to play golf and currently learning guitar.


Cassandra Dorrington
President of CAMSC – the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council

Cassandra DorringtonCassandra Dorrington leads the charge of delivering of programs and processes to promote and facilitate procurement opportunities between major corporations in Canada, and suppliers of all sizes owned and operated by Canadian Aboriginals and Minorities. In her term as President, she has been instrumental in expanding the CAMSC brand across Canada as well as internationally and has significantly grown the supplier base in Canadian marketplace.

As a result of CAMSC’s growing prominence in the business community, Cassandra sits as a member of the Toronto 2015 Diversity Advisory Council and the Toronto Board of Trade Diversity Council, and she has been frequent speaker at seminars and conferences both nationally and internationally. She also is a member of the National Advisory Council for the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises.

When not advocating for Supplier Diversity in Canada, Cassandra advocates for unification of the accounting profession in Canada. A active part of the team to merge the CMA, CA and CGA professions in Canada in 2013, Cassandra has completed her term as Chair of National board of CPA Canada and currently sit as Chair of the Nomination and Governance Committee for both CPA Canada and CMA Canada. She also continues to be active in the Nova Scotia marketplace in her role as Chair for the Black Business Enterprise in Nova Scotia.

In addition to her wide range of experiences in the business world, Cassandra’s community involvement has garnered her Commemorative Medal for the 125th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the YWCA Woman of Distinction award for Community Service and a 2010 Women of Excellence award.


David Acco
President and CEO-Acosys Consulting

David AccoDavid Acco, the President and CEO, is a Cree-Métis descended from Cumberland House, Saskatchewan, and a member of Métis Nation - Saskatchewan. He is an accomplished senior Business Analyst and Project Manager with an MBA from the University of Ottawa, a Business Analysis Master Certificate from the Schulich School of Business, York University, and a Graduate Certificate in Ecommerce from McGill University. His academic achievements and certifications give only a narrow idea of his talents. He has pushed his boundaries in many fields, from aircraft mechanics, to aerospace, to information technology, and in 2006, to social entrepreneurship, founding Acosys Consulting Services Inc. Mr. Acco 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, and with many non-profit Indigenous organizations. These experiences have enabled Mr. Acco to develop comprehensive management strategies to approach a variety of business challenges.


John Giraldez
Director at Indigenous Service Canada

John GiraldezJohn Giraldez is Director of Business Development at Indigenous Services Canada. His Directorate is responsible for supporting Indigenous businesses through Government of Canada Indigenous procurement policies and programs, the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program, and Innovative Solutions Canada. 

He was a Director at Policy Horizons Canada, a scanning and foresight organization within the Government of Canada, where he was responsible for the behavioral economics team, gamification, foresight, and experimentation. He also worked at the Canada School of Public Service. Before that, he was a Senior Regulatory Advisor at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) and the Privy Council Office (PCO). He was part of the Red Tape Reduction Commission Secretariat. At TBS Regulatory Affairs Sector and PCO Regulatory Affairs, he led the development of several major regulatory initiatives including: the Triage Statement, Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, Performance Measurement and Evaluation Handbook, Cost-Benefit Analysis Guide, the cost-benefit section of the Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation, the Trans-Atlantic Risk Dialogue, the Canada/US/Mexico Regulatory Impact Analysis Forum and the Instrument Choice Framework, as well as reviewing regulatory proposals as a subject matter expert. He also worked for years at the Regulatory Affairs group of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as an economist and was responsible for leading cost-benefit analysis across the CFIA.

In 1996, he joined the Government of Canada as an economist and was responsible for developing and running econometric models of the agriculture sector and developing environmental policies. Before joining the Government of Canada, he was a Research Associate (economist) at the University of Guelph and a Management Consultant with Deloitte & Touche. John obtained his M.Sc. from the University of Guelph and his B.SC. for McGill University. 


John Johnstone
PAC-PSPC Associate Director, Indigenous Engagement, PSPC

John JohnstoneJohn is based in Victoria, BC, and he provides engagement support to the Procurement Assistance Canada (formerly Office of Small and Medium Enterprises) at Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).  John’s goal is to ensure that the Indigenous business community and support organizations have the opportunity to actively patriciate in federal procurement.

From general guidance to business-specific information, John and his team help businesses navigate the government contracting process utilizing his 22 years of experience with the federal government.

John holds 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.





Daniel Sandoz

Daniel SandozDaniel joined Procurement Assistance Canada (formerly Office of Small and Medium Enterprises) at Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) in the Pacific Region in September 2014. In addition to his work as Policy Analyst, Business Engagement, within the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises, Daniel brings a wealth of experience, including over 15 years of global purchasing and marketing experience.

Daniel has been involved in procurement performance improvement projects, e-commerce and SAP implementations for a global player in the chemical industry in Switzerland.

Daniel holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) from Royal Roads University and an Executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business/Western University. Daniel is a Certified Agile Leader with the Scrum Alliance. 




Shaymus McFadden
Principal Consultant, Acosys

Shaymus McFaddenShaymus McFadden is a Principal Consultant in Acosys’ Business Consulting Practice. He is a proven, decisive, insightful and data driven strategist offering six years of experience advising senior leadership teams, influencing organizational direction, and leading transformative projects for Indigenous governments, entities, and businesses. He has recently delivered strategic plans for a federal Indigenous organization and a Cree community in Quebec. Currently, Shaymus is leading the development of an Indigenous engagement strategy for a large, global consultancy.

Prior to joining Acosys, Shaymus was a Regional Lead for the Indigenous Consulting Practice at MNP, Canada’s fifth largest Advisory and Accounting Firm. During that time, he worked on a vast array of consulting engagements including, economic development strategies, strategic plans, feasibility analyses, business plans, due diligence, and joint venture structuring. During his time at MNP, Shaymus played an instrumental part in leading the development of its National Indigenous Strategy.

After his tenure with MNP, Shaymus joined the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) where he devised internal strategies to enhance CCAB’s Indigenous Procurement Program, Supply Change, and external strategies to eliminate barriers for Indigenous businesses to engage in corporate and government supply chains.

Shaymus obtained his Bachelor of Commerce from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. He attained a double major in Finance and Economics, while competing in business strategy competitions nationally and being a member of varsity football team.


Julie Ann Wriston,
Manager Supply Chain Equity Diversity and Inclusion with Nutrient

Julie Ann Wriston Opportunity and hope are synonymous to Julie Ann Wriston. She has witnessed the impact that culturally relevant economic development has on regions, communities, and individuals. With a passion for Indigenous engagement and community economic development, Julie Ann has worked throughout Saskatchewan and beyond creating, planning for and connecting good businesses that contribute to economic strength and prosperity.

Her background includes working with industry, communities, companies, and entrepreneurs to cultivate business growth and stimulate economic reconciliation. Julie Ann has worn many hats in this space that ranges from procurement, communications, consultation, human resources, governance, and executive level leadership. She currently leads Supply Chain Equity Diversity and Inclusion as a Manager with Nutrient’s Potash operations.

Julie Ann is a multi-term board member for a Crown corporation and volunteers in this capacity for various organizations in her community.  She is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors with professional director certification (ICD.D), providing her with a depth of knowledge that supports setting the tone at the top in a good way.

As a proud Métis mother of two inspiring kids, Julie Ann has a vested interest in contributing to a healthy, sustainable community that provides an environment where opportunity and hope can thrive.


Timothy Low
Policy Advisor at Public Services and Procurement Canada-PAC-PSPC

Tim Low PSPCTim is of Métis ancestry and is a semi-retired federal public service executive.  He joined Procurement Assistance Canada (PAC) Team as a Casual employee in January 2021.  His role is to assist with the Indigenous Engagement Strategy which is designed to facilitate Indigenous businesses gain greater access and success with Government of Canada procurement opportunities. 

Tim has over thirty five years of progressive senior management/executive experience in the provincial and federal public sectors as well as in the Indigenous government sector. This experience includes extensive experience in providing advice and assistance in the development, analysis, and evaluation of various types of legislation, regulations, programs and policies most of which has been related to Indigenous community, economic, business and labour market and skills development. He has served on the boards of two very successful Aboriginal Capital Corporations at the Chairperson and Executive Committee levels. Tim is also a former Associate faculty member of the Canadian School of Public Service where he facilitated courses in the Indigenous Learning series.

Tim holds a Bachelor of Administration degree from the University of Regina and a Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer designation from Cando.

He and his wife, Donna, live in Ladysmith, BC where they enjoy golf, hiking, being out on their boat and being with their grandchildren.


Erin Fox
Manager of the Marine Navigation and Remediation Division, PSPC

Erin Fox PSPCBased in Ottawa, ON, Erin leads a team of procurement professionals who purchase goods and services pursuant to the Oceans Protection Plan. Erin and her team have developed the National Procurement Strategy to Address Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels, under which they are working to create procurement tools (Supply Arrangements) that are designed to make it easier for Indigenous businesses to secure work as prime contractors and/or subcontractors.

Erin has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ottawa, where her studies focused on organizational communications. Her 20+ year career in procurement has been spent in both the private and public sectors: she joined the federal government in 2008 and worked in various positions in defence procurement before taking her current role. In her spare time, Erin is an active volunteer as a member of the JLA Concussion Priority Setting Partnership Steering Group.


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