Tabatha Bull is fiercely proud of her Indigenous roots and has devoted her career and volunteer time to celebrating, promoting, protecting, and bettering the lives of Indigenous peoples living both within, and outside, their communities.
A woman with seemingly boundless energy, intelligence, and an infectious optimism, Bull radiates warmth and kindness combined with relentless determination. She’s a woman everyone would want on their side.
Bull graduated from the electrical engineering program at the University of Waterloo, and spent the first two decades of her career working in the electrical consulting and energy industry, leading the First Nations and Métis team at IESO, Ontario’s electricity system operator. In this role, Bull forged relationships in the energy sector with Indigenous communities across the province.
But her work in this industry is only a piece of what she refers to as her “path.” Bull has worked and volunteered in the areas of Indigenous housing, business and entrepreneurship, youth, women, and sport.
She is Anishinaabe and a member of Nipissing First Nation who lives in Leaside with her husband, Brad, and their two sons, Dane (Grade 8) and Jake (Grade 5). Both boys have played Leaside baseball and hockey and are very proud of their mom and their Indigenous family. During their March breaks, the boys headed north to play for the Nipissing Warriors in the Little Native Hockey League (LNHL) tournament.
Bull is currently the COO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), a dynamic organization that advances business relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses. She has worked hard to bring many of Canada’s largest corporations on board and has seen much success in the growth of small and large Aboriginal companies.
As Bull has travelled across the country speaking on behalf of the CCAB, she has inspired, and been inspired by, women and men working together to build sustainable, ethical businesses. For her, the value of such growth is not simply in the companies themselves, but in the mindset of many, and very importantly, in that of youth who are witnessing the success of Aboriginal businesses both in, and outside, their communities.
She also works on behalf of Indigenous youth alongside Leasiders Christine Baunemann and Kevin Berube, collecting gently used hockey equipment which they bring or ship to various Indigenous communities in Ontario.
This fall, Bull is organizing a trip to Manitoulin for her son Dane’s Bantam AA Flames team. The team will be collecting and bringing hockey equipment with them and will participate in a tournament against some of the area’s local teams. According to Rob Stanley, head coach of Dane’s team, the team participates in two to three tournaments each year, but this one will be a special one which will “provide the boys with a chance to give back to a community and will likely be an eyeopener for both them and their parents.”
Bull’s work doesn’t stop there. For the past 12 years she has served as a director on the board of Wigwamen Housing Inc., a non-profit organization which provides decent and affordable housing for Indigenous individuals and families in urban settings.
She also sits on the board of the Young People’s Theatre and is a member of the Canadian advisory group to UN Women “promoting women’s economic empowerment through responsible business in G7 countries.”
This tireless advocate and champion of Canada’s Indigenous peoples is definitely a force to be reckoned with.