This section focuses on some of the work currently carried out by leading companies in the sector. How are these company leaders encouraging Aboriginal procurement? The following case studies provide illustration of these companies’ efforts. All of the companies studied have either an overall Aboriginal procurement policy, or Aboriginal procurement tactics in place. Best practices are highlighted, and they include the commitment to enterprise-wide policy, to strategic implementation, and to operational tactics.

The range and scale of procurement opportunities that could be discussed in these pages covers a wide spectrum. Many of the opportunities are quite specific with Aboriginal businesses responding to electricity companies’ request for such needs as service maintenance contracts, for snow shovelling, brush clearing or the like. Or, there may be a request to provide services such as catering or security. These operational products and service needs are in contrast to procurement requests for proposals for independent power producers to develop entire alternative energy projects as part of, say, feed in tariff programs.

The range and complexity of procurement needs for this sector varies from small scale operational needs to large scale capital projects. In the case studies that follow in this report we cover a few different examples to illustrate the wide range of opportunities.

In researching and preparing the case studies four topics have continued to capture our interest. They include:

  • Electricity and Renewables Sector Companies’ Positioning With Aboriginal Communities
  • Developing Procurement Policies and Strategies
  • Operational Matters and Processes in Aboriginal Procurement
  • Projects and Opportunities

Electricity and Renewables Sector Companies’ Positioning with Aboriginal Communities 

What are some of the ways that electricity and renewables sector companies are working with Aboriginal people, businesses and communities? Broadly, these companies’ recruitment, corporate social responsibility and business development activities are part of an overarching effort to position their companies with Aboriginal communities. The underlying core values and principles as well as the tenor of the relationships developed are often guided and shaped by the individual company’s Aboriginal leadership. It all starts with developing trust between parties.

Developing Procurement Policies and Strategies 

As companies establish their directions on Aboriginal affairs and deepen their positioning they begin to formalize these positions in different parts of their organization. In the business development or procurement sections of the organization they may establish specific Aboriginal procurement policies and strategies.

Operational Matters and Processes in Aboriginal Procurement 

What are the specific operational mechanisms that electricity and renewables sector companies are using to increase Aboriginal businesses opportunities to become successful vendors of products and services? How do these companies invite Aboriginal businesses to qualify for approved vendor lists? These and some of the other operational practices, procedures and mechanisms used by sector companies’ procurement divisions are reviewed during the course of the case studies.

Projects and Opportunities 

What are some of the larger projects that electricity and renewables sector Companies are currently involved in or planning that will likely lead to increased Aboriginal procurement opportunities? A cursory review of these large projects provides an indication of the sheer scale and scope of procurement needs. In a later section of the report we will develop some recommendations and strategies for the electricity and renewables sector to undertake to increase Aboriginal businesses’ participation in the procurement opportunities from these large scale projects.

SaskPower on Aboriginal Recruitment:

SaskPower on working with Aboriginal businesses:

Manitoba Hydro on Aboriginal Procurement:

BC Hydro on Working with Aboriginals:

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