Federal Budget Announces $5 Million; exhilarating and daunting

The recent announcement in the federal budget of $5 million dollars in support of the complete "nationalization" of the work of the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies was both exhilarating and daunting at the same time. We have learned much in the past two years with both a Nova Scotia Youth Mentorship pilot and a series of national roundtables and yes we feel confident that the lessons learned can be applied across the country. Why we are doing it is clear; to introduce more Aboriginal students to the study of Business so they can directly contribute to the growth of the "Aboriginal economy". The how is what keeps one awake at nights!! Offering a successful Youth Mentorship Program in Nova Scotia is going well; rolling it out to the entire Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and the West, including north/south corridors of activity will be an exercise in logistics, partnerships, community involvement, and superb staffing decisions. We are seriously considering the development of an on-line game/simulation to encourage nation wide engagement and to try to ensure as many students as possible can connect and participate. More on connections. We heard in the roundtables of both geographic and psychological distance….. " I was the only one in my community interested in Business…………… we are so far removed from centres of Business"  An Aboriginal Business Student social media site is coming to life and in the days ahead our plan is to have hundreds and then thousands of students and those interested in their success connecting, encouraging, mentoring, supporting and role-modeling. The national roundtables told us of lack of Aboriginal materials in classrooms and we have begun the process of inviting students to write caselets to tell success stories from coast to coast to coast. And then there is the role of YouTube. Dozens of videos, told in the first person, will be developed to add to the stories of business success to inspire, to educate and to mentor. There is much to do and high expectations.