From October 5- 6, Cape Breton University’s Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies is hosting more than 20 national leaders in Aboriginal business education and industry. The group will have an important, urgent discussion regarding the Indigenization of business and academia. Attendees have also expressed interest in establishing a Canadian Consortium of Aboriginal Business Scholarship out of Cape Breton University. The goal of the meeting is to collaborate on consciously expanding the dialogue around Aboriginal business as a discipline within the established study of business and to identify collaboration opportunities.
“We feel this meeting is important because it’s a chance to work with our partners in the education and private sectors. We want to discuss improving the education life-cycle for Aboriginal business students so that we can continue to support their success in the future,” says Mary Beth Doucette, Executive Director and Associate Chair, Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies.
The discussion of the two-day meeting will focus on creating space for Aboriginal perspectives and participation within industry and academia. The group has representatives from influencers along every stage of an Aboriginal student’s life-cycle from elementary through to post-secondary education and employment.
“We’ve chosen to approach this discussion through the lens of the student life-cycle because students start making choices early in life that impact their ability to make more informed decisions about their future education. Their education doesn’t just stop when they leave school, it continues into the work force as they continue to develop in their careers,” says Doucette.
One of the Purdy Crawford Chair’s primary project deliverables was to host a series of national round table discussions about Aboriginal business education at the post-secondary level. Over the last five years, the Chair has facilitated a national series of round table discussions with students. Additionally, they have had similar conversations with economic development officers, community leaders, and Elders from across the country. Given the broad reach and scope of their findings, the time is right to meet with educators and industry leaders to showcase the work and lessons learned from the Crawford Chair.
“We hope the discussion will focus a consortium response to the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) recommendations on Indigenization of curriculum at the post-secondary level in Canada,” says Dr. Keith G. Brown, Vice-President International and Aboriginal Affairs at CBU and current holder of the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies.
This upcoming meeting marks the point where the Chair can share what has been learned with other educators and industry partners. The outcomes of this meeting will set the direction for future efforts at CBU in the area of Aboriginal business education and hopefully have the same impact across Canada.
For more information about the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies visit www.cbu.ca/crawford.