CBU’s Purdy Crawford Chair Wraps up Mentoring Program with Eastern Closing Conference

Cape Breton University’s Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies will bring this academic year’s mentoring program to a close for the Eastern Region of In.Business. This two-day closing conference for the Eastern Region of In.Business is facilitated in partnership with Nipissing University and includes students, mentors and peer mentors from Quebec, Ontario and Nunavut. This conference is the first of a series of five regional face-to-face conferences where In.Business participants will celebrate a year of networking and learning focused on Aboriginal business.

“This is the first year that the In.Business Program was hosted in the Eastern Region and I can already see the impact that it is having on our youth,” says Kyle Thomas, In.Business Eastern Regional Manager, CBU. “I am hearing from students how they are now interested in business and that this program allowed them to go out of their comfort zones and develop leadership qualities. One teacher even expressed that for the first time, her student (an In.Business participant) is interested in school.”

From Monday, May 2 to Tuesday, May 3, 2016, students and mentors will come together at the Nipissing University campus to celebrate and reflect upon their experiences during this year’s program. The mentorship program for Indigenous youth teams Indigenous high school students in grades 10, 11 and 12 with Indigenous business mentors. These mentors are educated, working professionals who use their experience and background in business to lead students through a series of online “business challenges” throughout the year. These activities help students explore various facets of business so they can make informed decisions about their future education and career plans.

The closing conference will include a tour of the Ontario Power Generation Office, a presentation and activity by Sid Bobb, the co-artistic director at Aanmitaagzi, and also presentations by guest speakers. Mentors will also facilitate group activities and the presentation of the Annual Purdy Awards, which are voted on during the conference and recognize students for things like best Tweet, outstanding leadership and most enthusiastic participant.

“When we started planning for the National Pilot of In.Business, we knew we had to find institutional partners who share our commitment to Indigenous Education that is inclusive and respectful of the local community cultures,” says Mary Beth Doucette, Executive Director of Purdy Crawford Chair. “Nipissing University was a natural choice and we are very happy to be celebrating this milestone event with them and the students.”

Following the success of the Business Network for Aboriginal Youth – Nova Scotia pilot along with the $5 million in federal matching funds announced in 2012, the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business studies has expanded the high school mentorship program nationally to include students all across Canada.

Learn more about the In.Business Program.