Leveraging Procurement to Support Indigenous Economic Development


The Government of Canada and other organizations have begun to focus on how to support more Indigenous participation in procurement.  This panel is intended to provide perspectives to support communities and businesses that would like to strategically focus on selling goods or services to other governments and prime contractors.


  • Vanessa Mountain, Vancouver Native Housing
  • Danielle Aubin, Senior Director, Indigenous Services Canada
  • Anita Pawluk, Race Rocks 3D
  • David Parnell, TACC

Speaker Bios

Danielle Aubin, ISC

Danielle has led the Transformative Indigenous Procurement Strategy Directorate at Indigenous Services Canada since 2021. For 9 years prior to that, she was responsible for the development, consultation, and implementation of new procurement policies for the Government of Canada as the Director of Procurement and Materiel Policies at Treasury Board Secretariat. Danielle has worked in strategic policy positions at Veterans Affairs, Public Safety and the Privy Council Office. She started her career at TBS in the program sector on Defence-related files. Danielle holds a Masters of Arts in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies from Queen’s University.


Anita Pawluk, President, RaceRocks

Anita Pawluk is an experienced entrepreneur and owner of successful startup companies in diverse fields such as technology, clean energy, construction and storage. Since co-founding RaceRocks in 2010 Anita has led the certified Indigenous company to be recognised as a leading high-tech firm delivering Technology Enabled Learning (TEL) and digital training solutions to the defence and aerospace industries. She is a natural leader who has been recognised within the tech sector with the ViaTec “Technology Leader of the Year,” in 2018 as well as, “Tech Company of the Year,” in 2017 and "Employer of the Year" in 2022. Her leadership has seen RaceRocks recognized and published by the Canadian Defence Review (CDR) as one of the top 75 defence companies. She is the driving force behind the company’s diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity culture. Not only is Anita focused on building RaceRocks corporate culture to be more inclusive but she is also providing her voice and vision as an Indigenous female leader to the Canadian Government and Defence industry having recently accepted a position on the Defence Industry Advisory Group (DIAG).