Skip to main content

Canadian University Leading the Way for Aboriginal Business Students

A Canadian university is starting the first Executive MBA program specifically geared toward working with aboriginal businesses and communities.

September 2012 will herald the beginning of Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) new Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership, which is the first program of its kind in Canada.

According to a press release, the program was created to respond to the growing need by aboriginal businesses, or those working with aboriginal communities for education in senior-level management.

Students enrolled in the program will not only study the core management concepts and principles of the Executive Master of Business Administration program, but also will dive into business and economic issues from a First Nations perspective.

SFU president Andrew Petter said this program shows the university’s commitment to supporting aboriginal communities. “This program is particularly needed at a time when aboriginal peoples are striving to overcome longstanding challenges and seeking to take advantage of new challenges.”

Other university professionals think it’s about time a program like this was developed. “We’ve reached the stage where aboriginal people are in senior executive positions and could use some extra training to hone their skills,” said William G. Lindsay, Cree-Stoney, director of SFU’s Office for Aboriginal Peoples, in the release. He said the training will benefit not only the participants but the “business world in general.”

The Beedie School of Business at SFU will be home to the new program, which isn’t the school’s only first—Canada’s first Executive MBA program was established there in 1968.

“The Beedie School of Business believes that our biggest opportunity to create change for aboriginal people and communities in BC and Canada is by building capacity of groups of students with common interests and concerns,” said Daniel Shapiro, Beedie School of Business dean, in the release.

Classes for the three-year, part-time program will take place starting next September in Vancouver—the school also plans on holding some classes in First Nations communities. Total tuition for the program is expected to be $48,500, which includes textbooks and materials, meals on class days, and two study retreats.

Typical students of this program will have 10 years of management experience, and the typical class size will be 25 students. Interested parties with further questions can e-mail or call 778-782-5070.