CCAB honours Mary Simon with an Award of Excellence in Aboriginal Relations

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) has honoured Mary Simon, former Canadian diplomat and Fellow with the Arctic Institute of North America, with a 2014 Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations.

As Canada’s first Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs, a lead negotiator for the creation of the Arctic Council, and former Canadian Ambassador to Denmark, Ms. Simon’s leadership is international in scope with northern interests at the heart of her extraordinary career.

She was presented with the award at the CCAB’s 12th Annual Vancouver Gala held at the Pan Pacific Hotel on September 25, 2014.

L-R Dean Johnson Sodexo Canada, Barry Telford - President Sodexo Canada, Mary Simon, JP Gladu - president and CEO of the Canadian Coincil for Aboriginal Business.    Photo by Pablo Su

L-R Dean Johnson Sodexo Canada, Barry Telford – president Sodexo Canada, Mary Simon, JP Gladu – president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. Photo by Pablo Su

“CCAB in its 30th year is proud to celebrate the outstanding people who through their lives’ work and initiative have played important roles in building and strengthening the relationship between Canada’s Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians,” said CCAB president and CEO JP Gladu.  “It is the leadership of forward thinkers such as Mary Simon that continues to build vital partnerships and personal relationships that open the doors of business through education and participation on the national stage.”

Mary Simon has worked tirelessly to promote the interests of northern communities on a wide variety of challenges facing Inuit including environmental, social, cultural, and political issues. Sodexo Canada is pleased to partner with CCAB to celebrate her in championing positive change for the Aboriginal community.  “Mary Simon’s work has been global in scope but local in impact, truly benefiting Canada’s Inuit people in their communities,”expressedDean Johnson, president of Sodexo Canada.

The Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations is presented to a Canadian who has personally contributed, through his or her professional and voluntary commitments, to building bridges between Aboriginal people and Canada’s business community. The recipient of the award is selected by a jury of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal business leaders.

At the Vancouver Gala, the CCAB also announced this year’s results of the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program — the first and only corporate responsibility assurance program in the world with an emphasis on Aboriginal relations.

Three PAR companies recertified in 2014 are Higgins Executive Search, Scotiabank recertified at Gold, and Bruce Power progressing from Silver to Gold. Four new certifying companies, achieving Silver standing are ATCO Structures and Logistics, Suncor Energy, TransAlta, SaskPower and TD Bank Group receiving the Gold level standing.

Also joining those PAR companies, at the Committed Level, are Allteck Line Contractors Inc, Austin Powder Ltd., Bee-Clean Building Maintenance Inc., Britco LPBrook McIlroy, Carillion Canada, ConocoPhillips Canada, Domcor Health, Safety & Security Inc., Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, Hatch, H.J. O’Connell Ltd., Hudbay MineralsNorthern Superior Resources Inc., Roche, Supermetal Structures, Selwyn Chihong Mining Ltd., Valard Construction LP — increasing the number of PAR member companies to 40, a first for the program. Companies joining PAR are given the option to commence at the Committed level before Certification.

“This year’s Vancouver Gala is our opportunity to celebrate the continued commitment of our existing PAR companies and welcome newcomers to this extraordinary program,” noted JP Gladu.  “As well we are honouring this year’s Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations recipient Mary Simon.  Celebration and optimism are the shining hallmark of this year’s gala bringing together the best of the best in Aboriginal business, Canadian business and personal accomplishment.”

Beginning in 2002, PAR has evolved into an online management and reporting program helping companies assess, plan and achieve Aboriginal relations goals and a certification program that confirms performance at the Bronze, Silver or Gold level.

Certified companies promote their achievement with a PAR logo that signals to communities, and the market place, that they are good business partners, great places to work, and are committed to prosperity in Aboriginal communities; the designation is supported by an independent, third party verification of company reports on outcomes and initiatives in the four key areas that matter most to Aboriginal communities — Employment, Community Investment, Business Development, and Community Engagement — and a juried review by Aboriginal business people.

About the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business:

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) was founded in 1984 by a small group of visionary business and community leaders led by Murray Koffler. CCAB is committed to the full participation of Aboriginal people in Canada’s economy. A national non-profit organization, CCAB offers knowledge, resources, and programs to both mainstream and Aboriginal owned companies that foster economic opportunities for Aboriginal people and businesses across Canada. For more information on PAR and an overview of the Award of Excellence, visit




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