Teaching Resources

Case Studies in Aboriginal Business

The Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies produces a series of business cases that focus on Aboriginal businesses and entrepreneurs across Canada. Currently, there are 59 case studies available for use in business programs.

Case studies are available free of charge for educational purposes by clicking here, or by accessing CBU Scholar, and navigating to Graduate Works. From there, you may select the Case Study filter to see all 59 case studies.

If you are an instructor and would like access to teaching notes, please contact Mary Beth Doucette.



Case Author Year Description
Abenaki Associates and Aboriginal Niche Market Entrepreneurship Erin Bragg 2017 information and computer software technology for First Nation customers
Amaguk Inn Danielle Pottle 2013 employee training and retention in an Inuit business
Authentic Indigenous Arts Initiative Katie K. MacLeod 2015 deciding whether to proceed on the establishment of an arts branding initiative
Bearman AUTHENTICS Katie K. MacLeod 2015 expanding a “show on the road” jewellery business
Blackdome Gold Mine and Skeena Resources Erin Bragg 2017 acquisition of Sona Resources’ Blackdome Gold Mine by Skeena Resources
Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park and Siksika Nation Erin Bragg 2017 establishing a tourist attraction/historical park to improve economic sustainability
Blue Sky Indigenous Nation Community Trust Jan Bearclaw 2015 appointing trustees, conflict of interest in a First Nation Trust
Bouchier Group and the Changing Oil Sands Industry Janice Esther Tulk 2016 responding to changes in the Alberta oil sands industry
Carcross/Tagish Management Corporation and the Canadian Tourism Industry Erin Bragg 2017 developing adventure tourism in a remote First Nation
Developmental Financing for Aboriginal Businesses Marcia Nickerson 2015 financing for Aboriginal business; NACCA
Erosion at Malagawatch Ken Medd 2015 deciding which recommendations from a consultant’s report to implement to address erosion at a shared First Nation reserve
Expanding Nahmah Miigwan Services Nina Kent 2016 deciding whether and how to expand a successful First Nation consulting business
Financing the Membertou Professional Centre Stephanie Slaman 2016 deciding how to finance the construction of a professional centre on reserve land
Financing the Songhees Nation Wellness Centre Ken Medd 2015 financing infrastructure development by implementing taxation on a First Nation reserve
Fort McKay Group of Companies Erin Bragg 2017 First Nation economic development in the oil sands
Haa-ak-suuk Creek Hydro Limited Partnership and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Erin Bragg 2017 establishing run-of-the-river hydropower to generate environmentally friendly energy
ID Fusion Software Rachel Marsch 2014 strategy, management, and growing a Métis business
Indian Maiden Maple Syrup A Janice Esther Tulk 2014 entrepreneurship, development of a First Nation product for tourists
Indian Maiden Maple Syrup B Janice Esther Tulk 2014 entrepreneurship, self-publication of a First Nation text
Indian Maiden Maple Syrup C Janice Esther Tulk 2014 marketing, product lines, branding, and authenticity in a First Nation business
Innu Development Limited Partnership and the Mushuau and Sheshatshiu First Nations Erin Bragg 2017 economic development initiatives among the Innu in Labrador
Integral Geomatics Ken Medd 2015 increasing capacity in a Metis start-up
Klahowya Village Katie K. MacLeod 2015 deciding whether and how to expand a successful First Nation tourism product in an urban setting
Malagawatch Stephanie McCormick 2014 land, heritage, and co-management of a historically significant First Nation site
Manitobah Mukluks Ken Medd 2015 changing production of a popular boot and implications for authenticity
Membertou Heritage Park: Craft Table at the Port of Sydney Ken Medd 2015 deciding whether to continue selling off-site at the cruise pavilion; First Nation heritage centre
Membertou Hotel Keith G. Brown and Janice Esther Tulk 2015 locating a new hotel in a First Nation; fee simple vs. reserve land
Membertou Museum A Mary Beth Doucette 2015 deciding how to proceed on the development of a First Nation community museum upon receipt of the feasibility study
Membertou Museum B Mary Beth Doucette 2015 identifying alternatives to building a traditional museum that has been determined to be not economically viable in a First Nation context
Membertou Museum C Mary Beth Doucette 2015 determining how to proceed on the building of a First Nation heritage facility following a downturn in the tourism industry
Membertou Pedway Keith G. Brown and Janice Esther Tulk 2015 building a pedway that crosses fee simple and reserve land and related challenges in a First Nation context
Membertou Professional Centre Signs Katie K. MacLeod 2015 choosing exterior signs for a business park located in a First Nation; sustainability; costs
Membertou Sports and Wellness Centre Katie K. MacLeod 2015 deciding whether to proceed on the development of an arena in a First Nation
Mi’kmaq Women’s Resource Centre A Kateri Stevens 2016 developing a budget to achieve the centre’s mandate after successfully applying for funding
Mi’kmaq Women’s Resource Centre B Kateri Stevens 2016 identifying strategic directions for a recently established First Nation women’s resource centre in an urban area
Mi’kmaw Alternative Energy Kateri Stevens 2016 deciding how best to expand a solar energy business in a First Nation context
Moonlight Works A Katie K. MacLeod 2015 registering a First Nation business
Moonlight Works B Katie K. MacLeod 2015 considering eCommerce for a First Nation craft business
Museum of Ontario Archaeology Janice Esther Tulk 2014 governance, rebranding a heritage institution with an Aboriginal focus
Neechi Commons and the Economic Development of North End Winnipeg Erin Bragg 2017 socially responsible business in Winnipeg
Nunatsiavut Group of Companies and Inuit Business Ownership in Newfoundland and Labrador Erin Bragg 2017 Inuit economic development in Labrador
One Stop Tamara Young 2015 dealing with a substantial tax bill as a result of not collecting taxes from non-Aboriginal customers at an on-reserve business
OrigiNative Kateri Stevens 2016 finding a production and storage space solution for a growing First Nation business
Pratt Falls Salmon Lodge Ken Medd 2015 financing a seasonal business
Salmon n’ Bannock A Katie K. MacLeod 2015 local food and operations in a First Nation restaurant
Salmon n’ Bannock B Katie K. MacLeod 2015 local food and supply in a First Nation restaurant
Slick’s Smoke Shop and Rosie’s Hair Salon Kateri Stevens 2016 deciding whether to expand to a nearby reserve
Slick’s Hair Salon and Boutique Kateri Stevens 2016 identifying strategies to enhance sales in a First Nation context
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre Erin Bragg 2017 development of a cultural centre devoted to the cooperative relationship between two First Nations
Stk’emlupsemc Te Secwepemc Nation and the New Afton Mine Angelique Slade Shantz 2015 mine development in a First Nation context
Tipi Joe Creations Nina Kent 2016 deciding whether and how to change prices after three years of successful operations
Tk’emlups: The Repatriation of Scheidam Flats Ken Medd 2015 financing a legal case by implementing taxation on a First Nation reserve
To Trust, or Not to Trust Jan Bearclaw 2014 community engagement with a First Nation Trust
Tourism at Broughton Archipelago Katie K. MacLeod 2015 responding to media reports of inappropriate behaviour at burial grounds
Traditionelle Shawna Boyer 2013 market readiness, target markets, logos in a First Nation start-up
Victoria Corner Market Tamara Young 2014 marketing, target markets, and strategy in a First Nation business
Wealth, Power, and Glory Ken Medd 2015 business structure and financing for an Aboriginal start-up
Wells Craft Supply Pamela Paul 2013 niche markets, differentiation, and authenticity in a First Nation business
Westbank First Nation CPs Tamara Young 2013 land, CPs, and community development in a First Nation

Guest Lectures

Dr. Paulette Tremblay talks about accounting in a First Nations context to BBA students in the Shannon School of Business. View it on YouTube.

Stories of Successful Aboriginal Businesses and Organizations

We’ve also shared the stories of successful Aboriginal businesses and organizations in other publications and reports, which may be useful in educational contexts.

Case Author Year Description Reference
St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino Margaret Froh 2014 partnerships, best practices Partnership Report
Forging Connections: The Hampton Inn Membertou Michael MacIntyre, John Lynn, Gary Corsano, Pascal Pisegna, & Christopher Alcantara 2014 partnerships, best practices Partnership Report
Collaborative Approach to Economic Development: The Unama’ki Model Owen Fitzgerald, Alex Paul, Gary Campbell, & Ronald Trosper 2014 partnerships, best practices Partnership Report
Research Partnerships: Land Management in Membertou Gillian Austin, Cheryl Knockwood, Rachel Starks, & Tamara Young 2014 partnerships, best practices Partnership Report
Cultural Tourism: Eskasoni Cultural Journeys Tracy Menge, Sandra MacDonald, Rodney Chaisson, & Keith Henry 2014 partnerships, best practices Partnership Report
Collaborative Aboriginal Economic Development: The Unama’ki Economic Development Model Janice Esther Tulk 2014 collaborative economic development, best practices Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development9.1 (2014): 44-56
Managing Land, Governing for the Future: Finding the Path Forward for Membertou Rachel Starks, Janice Esther Tulk, Tamara Young, Mary Beth Doucette, & Trevor Bernard 2013 land codes, FNLMA, land management, best practices AAEDIRP Report
Guiding Principles for Aboriginal Economic Development Janice Esther Tulk 2013 best practices, Membertou First Nation, Rama First Nation, Osoyoos Indian Band, Westbank First Nation, Tsawwassen First Nation Best Practices Report
‘Membertou always wanted to succeed’: The Membertou Business Model Keith Brown, Meghan Finney, Mary Beth Doucette, Janice Esther Tulk, Natasha Bernard, & Yu-Ting Isabella Yuan 2012 economic development, ISO, branding, culture, partnerships, best practices Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development8.1 (2012): 32-48
Impact of the Marshall Decision on the Development of a Mi’kmaw Commercial Fishery (student paper) Nicole Johnson 2016 Supreme Court Decision, economic development, Membertou, Eskasoni, Millbrook Paper
Attracting Aboriginal Youth to the Study of Business: Mentorship, Networking, and Technology Janice Esther Tulk, Mary Beth Doucette, & Allan MacKenzie 2016 youth business mentorship program; best practices Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development10.1 (2016): 54-70


Other Resources

During the summer of 2012, student research assistant Vernon Migwans compiled Aboriginal business and economic development case studies and other resources that may be of value to instructors, researchers, and students in business programs across Canada. This was done primarily with the goal of mobilizing already existing materials to provide Aboriginal content in business courses. Resources are grouped into categories commonly found in Introduction to Business textbooks (see left hand navigation). Efforts have been made to include First Nation, Métis, and Inuit content.

In annotations:

FN = First Nation focus; M = Métis focus; I = Inuit focus

These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by CBU of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. CBU bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.