Engaging with First Nations Businesses: An overview and resources with OFNEDA and First Chiefs Ontario
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Eastern
Event Registration
Event Type(s)
OPBA Ignite
Event Description
Tues, Jun 25, 2024, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Virtual Event

Registration closes on Jun 21, 2024

There are more than 9,000 Indigenous businesses in Ontario. The federal government has set a target that ensures a minimum 5% of the total value of contracts are held by Indigenous businesses. The provincial government has developed the Aboriginal Procurement Program. With a growing interest in the public sector about doing business with Indigenous businesses, the OPBA welcomes the Ontario First Nations Economic Development Association (OFNEDA) and Chiefs of Ontario to provide an overview of their respective organizations and resources available to public sector entities.

Join OFNEDA's Executive Director, Rob Furlonger, and Indigenous Procurement Developer, Jean Miljour who will provide an overview of OFNEDA and discuss procurement engagement, Sam Abtahi, Policy Analyst of Chiefs of Ontario, and Azfar Ali Khan, from the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy, who will speak to the First Nations Business Directory Portal, which they hope will become the go-to resource for those looking to engage First Nation business in Ontario. 

Participants are encouraged to submit questions ahead of time to events@opba.ca and to engage in discussion during the session. 
Robert Furlonger, Executive Director, OFNEDA
Rob is a Lakehead University (Thunder Bay) graduate with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree in economics and marketing. He has more than 40 years in senior management roles in the Toronto region with twelve (12) of those years managing and developing businesses for Rama First Nation as General Manager of Economic Development & Business Operations. Rob spent six (6) years on the board for OFNEDA with three of those as Vice-Chair. Now as Executive Director Rob has reorganized and revitalized OFNEDA with a new strategic vision and expanded partnerships that are focused on employment & skills training, procurement growth, industry research and mentorship.

Jean Miljour, Indigenous Procurement Developer, OFNEDA
Jean is a father of two and member of Timiskaming First Nation. Jean’s focus is on improving community holistic capacity is reflected in his previous technical and First Nation leadership roles. His great passion for creating economic development opportunities is why working with OFNEDA is very exciting for him.  Moreover, adding Indigenous procurement readiness and access to existing economic environments will contribute to meaningful economic reconciliation. 
There is high value in building meaningful relationships, especially with the vision of doing business together.  After all, our most valuable resource of all is human resources. Let’s grow from here. Miigwech.

Sam Abtahi, Policy Analyst, Chiefs of Ontario
Sam is a policy analyst with the Chiefs of Ontario, He is passionate about advocacy and policy development for the First Nations of Ontario through the mandates of the Chief in Assembly who advocates for the Right Holders 


Azfar Ali Khan, Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy
Azfar is an experienced financial professional passionate about optimizing performance around the core mandate and value proposition of public sector organizations. Azfar holds a B.Comm (Honours) from the University of Toronto and has a Certified Public Accounting designation from the State of Illinois.

Registration Fees:

Title Fee Valid Dates Member Status Points CEUs Hours
Members $20.00 + HST Available until Jun 25, 2024 Members Only 0.0000 0.0000 1.0000
Non Members $35.00 + HST Available until Jun 25, 2024 All Registrants 0.0000 0.0000 1.0000

Please refer to our payment policy for information regarding cancellations and/or refunds.

Registration closes Friday, June 21, 2024.

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