Four Ways CCAB Has Changed My Life

Four Ways CCAB Has Changed My Life

I remember the year I turned 40 – I reflected a lot on what I’d done in my life and all the people that had an impact on me. I want to use CCAB’s 40th Anniversary as an opportunity to express the ways in which CCAB has impacted my life and that of those around me.

Providing Introductions to Amazing Indigenous Leaders

This may be my favorite thing about the work CCAB does. I remember sitting in a hotel lobby with Colby Delorme – looking at him and simply being around him, made me feel stronger. I also remember meeting Jenn Harper – as I listened to her speak, I thought, “we’ve got this”. I could go on with so many more instances like these, and it’s all thanks to CCAB’s events.

I truly love having opportunities to meet people who are sharper, smarter, and doing incredible things in business – especially those who are also Indigenous. Just being around other Indigenous professionals reminds me that hey – we can break down doors, we can smash glass ceilings, we can show up in rooms (and not just show up, but also be the leaders). It was through CCAB that I met my first fellow Indigenous business owners, entrepreneurs. CCAB didn’t just tell me I wasn’t alone, they showed me.

Helping Me Understand Procurement

The word itself is a funny one. It’s a silly dance, but in order to grow in business, it’s an important one to learn. As much as I’ve pushed back on ever doing that dance, it was the CCAB procurement meetings that helped me move from sitting on the sidelines and criticizing the process, to learning how to engage and be a part of projects bigger than I could have imagined.

It was thanks to these meetings that I got connected to people like John Johnson, who patiently showed me the way and shone a light on all the procurement is. John called out patience and diligence in me, pushing me to keep working hard – he showed me how to remain humble and work hard to prove to others what we are capable of and helped make the government processes less intimidating.


The tireless work of CCAB has opened a door for us to walk through in a pretty significant way – I imagine Tabatha powerfully kicking down doors that have been sealed shut for ages. We’re now being invited into the room, we’re being asked to have a seat at the table, we have 5%.

Someone told me recently they heard someone ask why it wasn’t 50% – and sure, that’s a great question – heck, we could also ask why we don’t have 10%, or even 7%. However, I think that as our work, skills, super powers at storytellers, and connections above, below, and all around us become recognized, that 5% will grow into much more than that.

Sharing Good News & Who We Are

I loved the Cheekbone Beauty campaign “Right the Story” – the commercial is a rallying cry. CCAB is the place where good news is told – success stories, stories of triumph and awesomeness, stories of us showing up and being who we are, unashamedly and without excuse.

In the midst of companies looking to engage with Indigenous businesses (and good for them), they are looking for a trusted source for identifying with these businesses. CCAB has put together an incredible vetting system, providing a directory that companies and the government can trust. This directory has opened doors and allowed non-Indigenous and Indigenous businesses to know who they’re working with.

It may seem small and trivial to know how just one small business has been impacted, but that impact also affects my children – four Metis kids growing up to be who knows what in the landscape and ecosystem of this world. CCAB has allowed my company and myself to grow so I can house, feed, and be there for my kids – so thank you.

And hey, Happy Birthday CCAB – and just like others told me when I turned 40, you’re just getting started!

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