MDB Insight Blog


CCAB: Amplifying Indigenous Voices in Business

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) is a non-partisan non-profit working to build a strong network of support for Indigenous business owners across Canada. 

Their mission is: “to foster sustainable business relations between First Nations, Inuit and Metis people and Canadian business.”

Why Does the CCAB Matter?

In 1982, Murray B. Koffler, founder of Shoppers Drug Mart and co-founder of the Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts, was inspecting a partially finished hotel building in Calgary, Alberta. During the inspection Koffler was shocked to find a homeless family sheltering in the basement from the cold spring weather. Later the same day he witnessed a security guard removing an Indigenous child suspected of shoplifting from a Shoppers Drug Mart store. He was informed that both of these situations were common occurrences.

Koffler was shocked that a city this prosperous would let its Indigenous citizens live in such horrible conditions. He began to do some research about Indigenous people in Canada. Koffler discovered that corporations had been avoiding any responsibility for helping Indigenous citizens to participate in commerce under the assumption that the government was taking care of Indigenous citizens. Learning about the challenges that Indigenous communities and citizens faced, and finding out that the corporate world had largely ignored the issues, led Koffler to form the CCAB. 

image19The CCAB has been building bridges to connect Aboriginal communities with the mainstream business community since 1982. The founding theory of the CCAB is that supporting entrepreneurs in Aboriginal communities is an important avenue to building skills and developing capacity for Indigenous citizens, as well as driving economic growth in Aboriginal communities. The second half of the CCAB’s mandate is to educate the wider Canadian business community about Aboriginal issues. 

The CCAB has a diverse board of directors and staff, representing many different First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities from across Canada.

Supporting Aboriginal Business Development 

The importance of work done by organizations like CCAB during and in the aftermath of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission cannot be overstated. MDB Insight aligns our community and business development initiatives with those espoused by CCAB: connecting Aboriginal communities with the mainstream business community. We’ve enjoyed many opportunities to work with First Nations communities across Canada.

If you’d like to offer better support for the Indigenous business owners in your community, MDB Insight wants to help. We can identify opportunities in your community to foster the success of Indigenous entrepreneurs with the Triage BR+E™ program. 

If you’d like to find out more about the findings of Truth and Reconciliation Commission, read more here:


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