A window into the indigenous economy...



In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released their comprehensive 6-volume final report outlining 94 “calls to action” that were identified to further the path to reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous peoples. Several calls to action speak to education and more specifically, highlight the need for Indigenous voices to become part of the mainstream curriculum. To realize this recommendation, there is a need for engaging content widely accessible to educators in a breadth of studies

Our Process

  • Working alongside our partners at the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, we sought the participation of Indigenous Businesses from a variety of sectors and geographic locations
  • The research team worked to curate questions to help identify key themes within each sector and business model to showcase the business from inception to present day and to highlight the successes, opportunities, and learnings
  • The interview process was conducted virtually via Zoom while COVID-19 health restrictions were in place with a goal to visit each business in-person when the opportunity arose
  • Case studies were then written with the student and educators in mind 
our Objectives
Short Term Objectives
  • Generate awareness of CCAB’s membership and the importance of Indigenous economic development in Canada
  • Demonstrate best practices in Indigenous economic development through case studies of successful ventures, partnership and models of effective stakeholder engagement
  • Explore various models for engaging Indigenous Canadians in economic development through case studies and analysis
  • Provide open educational resources that can be used by other post-secondary educational institutions in classrooms to raise awareness of the barriers and challenges faced by Indigenous businesses
Long Term Objectives
  • Challenge perceptions of Indigenous economic prosperity and decolonize through positive stories told through engaging content
  • Fill an informational gap with regard to Indigenous entrepreneurs, businesses and economic development in Canada
  • Inspire Indigenous students to explore business careers through role modeling
  • Develop a catalogue of relevant material that teacher and professors can use in classrooms
The Impact

Social Impact
  • Supporting local business by helping to raise their profile in the community while highlighting their success stories 
  • Showcasing diverse representation in our economy through Indigenous entrepreneurs and growing the sector by showing potential new Indigenous entrepreneurs role models and the possibilities
  • Underscoring through these stories, the power of economic development in contributing to wider issues such as poverty alleviation, self-esteem and social purpose

Educational Impact
  • Supporting educators with current, relevant, accessible, inclusive content
  • Creating new curriculum content that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students can access that showcase engaging business cases and real-life examples that are relevant and current

Case Study Targets

Over the 3 years of this Research Project, our goals include:

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Case studies
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Provinces and Territories
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Business sectors