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How Deloitte Canada is Building Stronger Ties to Indigenous-Owned Businesses

Indigenous Program

In 2020, Deloitte Canada was the first in corporate Canada to launch an official Reconciliation Action Plan aimed at rebuilding trust and relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. The Curasion talent platform contributed to Deloitte’s success with recruitment and procurement services, as well as the creation of new collaborative relationships with Indigenous-owned businesses.

It’s All About Relationships

Deloitte’s recruitment and procurement efforts under their Indigenous Supplier Program are to actively seek and engage Indigenous communities and businesses in sustainable economic opportunities. The success of this goal can be measured through metrics, yet the real success relies directly on the meaningful relationships fostered amongst people.

The Curasion platform was instrumental in supporting the program. Typically, the platform is used with clients to identify internal and external talent while allowing hiring managers to directly source suitable candidates. Curasion’s collaboration with Deloitte’s Reconciliation Action Plan was different; it was tailored to focus on meeting their specific needs. A portal for Deloitte was created and used by their procurement team to identify Indigenous-owned businesses as part of their Indigenous Supplier Program. This made it easy to identify and select pre-vetted and certified Indigenous businesses for internal or client-facing projects.

“Our primary objective,’ explains Sean Ford, Senior Manager, Contract Services, Deloitte, “was to engage directly with Indigenous-owned businesses and make it easier to work with and build meaningful relationships with suppliers. We wanted to create longer-term and sustainable relationships to truly engage with them in multiple capacities.”

In the first 18 months of launching the Indigenous Supplier Program, Deloitte:

  • Engaged over 50 Indigenous-owned businesses through the Curasion platform
  • Tripled spending with Indigenous-owned businesses
  • Met or exceeded the 5% annual addressable spend goal directed towards Indigenous-owned suppliers
  • Held one-on-one discussions with each supplier to identify more points of contact, creating a more personal process and experience
  • Made the program accessible to all Deloitte managers internally through stakeholder engagement, town hall meetings, reminders, and messaging in a variety of touch points, including email and internal portals

Ford shares further that one of the things he found most rewarding was the collaboration with Curasion helped to “connect the dots between suppliers and managers who would not necessarily have connected in the past. This allowed suppliers to get a foot in the door. The one-on-one sessions were instrumental in identifying opportunities they would not otherwise have had access to.”

Deloitte’s Multi-Faceted Success

The Indigenous Supplier Program supports the Economic Empowerment Pillar, just one area of success within the Reconciliation Action Plan.

“Since June of 2021, we have made steady progress under all four of the Plan’s pillars: Education, Inclusion, Employment and Economic Empowerment” says Amber Zenuk, Procurement Specialist – Contingent Labour-Contract Services, Deloitte.

She shared some of the highlights:

  • Signed our first multi-year agreement with Indspire, for over $500,000, becoming the first professional services firm in Canada to commit to this level of sponsorship with the organization, which invests in the education of Indigenous peoples
  • Initiated an important change to the firm’s bereavement policy to accommodate cultural practices: increasing paid leave from three days to 10
  • Reached more than 5,000 Indigenous youth through volunteering and pro bono engagements with organizations such as Canadian Roots Exchange, Innovations for Learning, and First Nations University of Canada
  • Created ‘The 4 Seasons of Reconciliation Training’, a three-hour cultural-awareness e-learning program, a mandatory component of on-boarding for all new Deloitte professionals. The course is also available to family, friends, and clients of Deloitte

“Our journey continues into the third year,” says Zenuk. “We are committed to holding ourselves accountable to long-term change,” she shares.

At Curasion, we are proud to work with companies like Deloitte who are leaders in the Canadian corporate landscape. If you’re interested in starting a program like Deloitte’s Reconciliation Action Plan, or simply desire to begin the conversation with colleagues, please connect with Amber Zenuk (

To chat with someone at Curasion please book a time with us.

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