In 2019, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) started a local Indigenous business directory identifying Indigenous businesses interested in working with GVHA and its partners. The directory grew slowly over time, with more businesses added monthly. In 2023, GVHA, South Island Prosperity Partnership, the City of Victoria, The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and the Capital Regional District joined together to create the South Island Indigenous Business Directory, a listing of Indigenous businesses located in the southern region of Vancouver Island. These varied businesses offer services from graphic design and catering to engineering and project management.

Learn more about Indigenous businesses in the southern region of Vancouver Island, find opportunities to procure more goods and services from Indigenous businesses and support the greater goal of Indigenous economic reconciliation.

Animikii, a local Indigenous-owned company, built the online directory. Animikki is known for building custom software, web applications and websites.

Indigenous businesses and organizations are encouraged to register for the directory. Participation is free, and interested businesses can visit to register.

We are committed to Indigenous economic reconciliation and consider Indigenous procurement a key element of this important work. If you have questions about the directory, please email us.

Everyday, we procure goods and services that help to keep some of Victoria’s most treasured places thriving. Whether it is ordering new compost bins at Fisherman’s Wharf or commissioning a local artist to beautify the Victoria Cruise Terminal at The Breakwater District, we want to ensure that our decisions are embedded in sustainable procurement practices. For us, this means not only taking into consideration the environment, but also supporting local Indigenous-owned businesses. 

In June 2019, with support from our First Nations Economic Development Committee, we revised our Procurement Policy to include language regarding the support of Indigenous businesses. This includes ensuring that Indigenous business have the same opportunities as other qualified contractors to participate in a competitive manner on all RFP’s. With all other things being equal, if the Indigenous business meets the qualifications required, we may give preference to the Indigenous business. In addition, we also committed to actively seeking opportunities for direct award contracting opportunities to Indigenous businesses, if prices offered are commercially competitive and services rendered meet requirements.

We also worked with the Esquimalt Nation and Songhees Nation through our First Nations Economic Development Committee to define “Indigenous business.” Together we came up with the following definition:

To be considered an Indigenous business, at least one of the following criteria must be met:

  • At least 51% of the business is owned and controlled by Indigenous Peoples, and at at least one third of the employees are Indigenous.
  • If the business is a sole proprietorship, it must be wholly owned by an Indigenous person.
  • In the case of a joint venture or consortium, at least 51% of the joint venture or consortium must be controlled and beneficially owned by an Indigenous business or businesses, as defined above.
  • At least 1/3 of the value of the work performed under a contract is completed by an Indigenous business, either by the Indigenous partner/contractor or by an Indigenous sub-contractor.

For more info on our current work with Indigenous businesses, check out our blog post.