Indigenous Procurement

Every day, we at the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority procure good and services that help to keep Victoria’s most treasured places thriving. Whether it be ordering new compost bins at Fisherman’s Wharf or commissioning a local artist to beautify Victoria’s Cruise Ship Terminal,  we want to ensure that our procurement decisions are embedded in sustainable procurement practices. This for us means not only taking into consideration the environment, but also supporting local Indigenous-owned businesses. 

To help us learn more about the innovative work local Indigenous businesses, we recently developed an Indigenous Business Directory, which establishes a listing of Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses that seek to do business with us and our partners. We hope to learn more about these 40+ local Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs and where possible find potential opportunities to work together.

We have also established strong relationships with Salish Seas Industrial Services (have you seen the beautiful updates to Ship Point?), Songhees Events and Catering (try the bannock burger from Songhees Seafood & Steam!), and local artists Darlene Gait from Esquimalt Nation and Butch Dick from Songhees Nation (check out the Unity Wall at Ogden Point!).

This Directory has already helped us to build new relationships with Brandigenous, Gwaii Engineering, and Animikii – three local Indigenous companies working out of Victoria that are leading the way in innovation in their fields and communities.

We are lucky to live and work in the Lekwungen Territory and want to make an effort support the Indigenous economy . If you’d like to learn more or be added to the Indigenous Business Directory, please contact us at or 250 – 383 – 8300.

Profile on Two Recent Partnerships:


This summer we worked with Jarid Taylor, founder of Brandigenous, to procure high quality branded GVHA material. We particularly wanted promotional material that was not only functional, but also had a low carbon footprint, was sourced in Canada and would be actively used by those receiving it (no throw away items!). Jarid helped us to find the right products that met our needs, provided excellent customer service and most importantly was fun to work with! Jarid also helped us connect with other Indigenous businesses like Animikii and Tom Spetter Design – all who work out of the Songhees Innovation Centre.

“GVHA has been leading by example on partnering with Indigenous businesses. It was a simple and refreshing process to deal with their knowledgeable staff who were respectful of the land we are all lucky to work on. They took the time to seek out an Indigenous business as part of their procurement process, once connected our business values, which focus on responsible and sustainable sourcing, aligned quickly. We also realized that they were not only supporting Brandigenous, but also their partner, Songhees Nation, as we are based in the Songhees Innovation Center, another one of the Nations’ successful businesses.  

Being a part of GVHA’s Indigenous Business directory helped facilitate new exposure for our business as others look to engage with Indigenous businesses.”

Jarid Taylor, the founder of Brandigenous, 2019

Salish Seas Industrial Services

In the winter of 2018, Salish Seas Industrial Services, a joint venture between the Ralmax Group, Esquimalt Nation and Songhees Nation, was awarded by GVHA and the City of Victoria a $1.8 million contract to repair Ship Point. The repair project focused on structural replacement of parts of the original 1949 structure.  The engineering designed by Stantec called for mix of steel piles, steel/timber support beams, a new timber deck and new asphalt surface for vehicle use.  This project work was completed in May 2019 and open to the public soon after.  Salish Seas performed their work in a safe and professional manner, consistently seeking to drive the project in a diligent manner in line with their contractual obligations.  Under the instruction from GVHA acting as Project Manager and representatives from the City of Victoria, Salish Seas delivered the project to a great conclusion for their clients and we of course look forward to future collaborations with Salish Seas Industrial Services.

“We are pleased to have been awarded this work by GVHA and the City of Victoria. We are competitive in the marketplace and this contract represents the fifth project we have undertaken for GVHA. The Victoria harbour serves as an important transportation highway and economic catalyst for the entire region. This is as true today as it was for our ancestors and we are proud to be earning our livelihoods once again on our traditional waters,” says Karen Tunkara, Director Salish Sea Industrial Services, Songhees Nation.”

Karen Tunkara, the Director Salish Sea Industrial Services, 2019