GVHA certified silver by Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business

Sept. 22, 2021, Victoria, BC – The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has been certified silver by the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business as part of its Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program.

PAR silver organizations recognize the value of working with Indigenous communities and are able to point to outcomes that have made a difference. This includes investment in communities and people, employment programs, and business partnerships.

“In 2005, we developed five guiding principles to direct our actions and decisions, including a commitment to fostering First Nations relationships,” said Christine Willow, Chair, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. “Submitting our application to the PAR program reaffirms our overall commitment to this guiding principle. It also recognizes that this work is continuous and requires our entire organization to move our initiatives and programs forward. Working with our First Nations partners makes us a stronger organization.”

GVHA joined the PAR program in January 2019, reaffirming its commitment to its partnerships with Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, and the work ahead in Indigenous reconciliation. It began the process first by being PAR-committed, and then submitted their application for a PAR-certified designation in 2020.

In conjunction with the PAR silver certification, the organization is also releasing their Indigenous Relations Report, which will be published every three years and will align with PAR application periods. Since 2018, GVHA has committed to several initiatives and programs under the pillars of leadership, business development, employment, and community relations.

Highlights from 2018-2021 include the creation of GVHA’s Indigenous Business Directory, annual job shadowing programs for Lekwungen members, Indigenous cultural training for the Board of Directors and all staff, and the development of a new partnership with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. To view the Indigenous Relations Report, visit https://gvha.ca/first-nations-partnerships/.  

“Esquimalt Nation and GVHA have a long history of working together,” said Chief Rob Thomas, Esquimalt Nation. “The late Chief Andy Thomas was a founding member, and deeply engaged in harbour activities. Today’s announcement is an act of reconciliation, and we are proud of all the work we have taken on together to get to this point in our journey.”

“We are equal partners at this table, and we are happy to be recognized for our work together,” said Chief Ron Sam, Songhees Nation. “We hope that other organizations in the region will be inspired to further their Indigenous relations.” 

Other PAR certified silver members include Allteck Limited Partnership, Hydro Quebec, and Imperial Oil Upstream Division. In British Columbia, PAR certified members include BC Hydro and BC Housing. For more information on the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business, visit https://www.ccab.com/.

About the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that is committed to the stewardship and sustainable growth of Victoria’s dynamic working harbour. The organization is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, represented by four independent community members and eight Member Agencies: Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, Capital Regional District, City of Victoria, Township of Esquimalt, The Chamber, Victoria Esquimalt Harbour Society, and Destination Greater Victoria.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority owns and operates several high-profile community amenities including the Ogden Point Breakwater, Inner Harbour lower causeway, Ship Point, and customs dock at Raymur Point. Within its commercial and marine industrial holdings are The Breakwater District at Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf, four Inner Harbour marinas, and the historic Steamship Terminal. The organization manages the Victoria Cruise Terminal at The Breakwater District, which contributes more than $130 million annually to the Greater Victoria economy and is responsible for 800 direct and indirect jobs.

In 2021, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority was certified as a Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business’ Progressive Aboriginal Relations Silver Member, a reflection of its ongoing commitment to a guiding principle of First Nations Relationships.