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From left, Paul Summers, John Dutscek, Ron Jameison and Murray Koffler are the core founders of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.


Council helps strengthen Aboriginal business


Shocking discovery provides impetus

In the spring of 1982, Murray Koffler was stunned to find a homeless First Nations family huddled in the basement among building materials, during an inspection of a partly completed Four Seasons Hotel in Calgary.

Later, the same day, Mr. Koffler (the founder of Shoppers Drug Mart and co-founder of The Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts) visited a local Shoppers Drug Mart, only to interrupt a security officer escorting from the store a young Aboriginal boy suspected of shoplifting. He couldn’t understand why a prosperous city allowed such devastating conditions to exist for its Aboriginal citizens.

Think-tank meeting

When Mr. Koffler returned home, he invited a small group of people to his farm near King City, Ont., for a one-day think-tank. Attendees included Maurice Strong, Paul Martin and Edward Bronfman among others. The group agreed that business could be an important avenue to build skills and develop capacity for Aboriginal young people and adults.

CCAB is born

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) was founded in 1984 and are committed to helping establish full participation of Aboriginal peoples in Canada’s economy.
CCAB has been helping bridge the gap between the mainstream corporate sector and the Aboriginal community. They work to improve economic self-reliance of Aboriginal communities and educate Canadian business leaders about Aboriginal issues. It receives no government funding and is endorsed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for its business-driven programs and services.

Under the current President and CEO, Jean Paul Gladu, Anishinaabe from Thunder Bay, the CCAB offers knowledge, resources, and programs to both Aboriginal-owned member companies and Canadian businesses that foster economic opportunities for Aboriginal peoples and businesses across Canada.

Want more information? Click here to visit their website.


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