About Week 9 – Developing an Aboriginal Business Textbook

So last week was my 9th out of 11 weeks on Unama’ki working for the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies.

It was an awesome week as I was able to complete my main task. I’ve been to meetings, conferences, and had many discussions on the subject – but I never dreamed it would be me who did the work I did over the first eight weeks. It was always “some day in the future” or “in my lifetime I’d like to see” an Aboriginal Business Textbook.

I completed a report with recommendations on what the first ever Aboriginal Business textbook should look like.  I spent 7 weeks pouring over textbooks – both business and history – and sifting the internet trying to understand what content could be included, modified, or enhanced to introduce people to the subject of Aboriginal Business. Unless things change, my recommendations will be fully adopted into the textbook which should be ready for 2014. Here is an excerpt from the report which I submitted to the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies:

Analysis shows that key areas which need to be addressed to promote understanding of Aboriginal business are the history of Aboriginal business in Canada; current policies, regulations, and environments in which businesses must operate; and best practices by successful Aboriginal communities in business and economic development.

As part of the research for the report, I wanted to get an idea of how paternalistic the Indian Act really is. I did a quick search and found 139 references to “Minister May”, “approved by Minister”, “Minister considers” and similar phrases in the Indian Acts 114 sections. There are more or less depending on your interpretation. This could mean that for every action sought by First Nations people or their governments, there must be more than one permission given by the Minister. Hmm.

We also attended the Cape Breton Dragon Boat Festival. We had a blast while supporting a good cause. Here’s a link to some pictures of that day (there are still more to come): https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151100225505731.490582.608600730&type=3&l=b0061553b1

I also had a chance to go sailing on Bras d’Or Lake with some MBA students. That was a great evening.
There was also a moment during the week where Dr. Edwin McLellan asked us to participate in his Comparative Development class by speaking briefly about our knowledge to his class. I find it difficult to speak briefly about Aboriginal business development – especially about “dead capital” on reserves.

I’ve also uploaded many more amazing pictures from my random adventures on Unama’ki: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150983961495731.477997.608600730&type=3&l=98547ad6ce

Oh yeah. Lenny, the new worker, already went back home to Manitoba! There are only 9 days left here for me. 9 more coffee breaks, 2 more saturdays, one more Sunday, and one more hair cut.