Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership

The Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership explores contemporary business issues and knowledge while recognizing that the traditional protocols and ways of understanding the world are also growing and changing as new generations assume responsibility for moving forward. The program includes the core concepts and knowledge included in most MBA programs, but recognizes that traditional knowledge also plays a significant role in aboriginal leadership and decision making. It is designed for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students working within this context.

Business and economic development education are increasingly important to First Nations, Metis and Inuit in terms of establishing independent sources of income and control over traditional territories. Business skills and knowledge are also important in protecting and growing resources available through impact benefit agreements or revenue sharing arrangements with governments. On an individual level, Aboriginal people are increasingly turning to entrepreneurial activities as a way to build security for their families and as a means of expressing their independence and creativity.

The Beedie School has many years of experience customizing programs and courses to meet the needs of individual students and is used to working with adults who have already proved themselves but want to enhance their capacities. The EMBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership program is now recruiting its third cohort for September 2016. The first cohort successfully graduated with an MBA degree in June 2015.

Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership graduate (2015) Sheryl Rivers spoke with NationTalk, Canada's premier Aboriginal newswire, employment, and events service. In the interview, she explains why she made the decision to switch her major from law to business, and discusses the differences between a traditional MBA program and the Beedie EMBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership.

Watch Bryan Gallagher’s video on Entrepreneurship and Aboriginal Identity

Bryan Gallagher is a faculty member in the Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership. He has just completed an extensive study on understanding identity within the context of urban Aboriginal entrepreneurs. Do Indigenous entrepreneurs lose their cultural connections? How do they reconcile western business practices with Indigenous protocols and thoughts? Bryan eloquently presents his findings in a video that he produced together with his thesis collaborators.

Bryan teaches Entrepreneurship in the Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership


The students and faculty of the EMBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership hosted an evening with Phil Fontaine in September 2015. Prior to his talk, Dr. Fontaine spent the day in class with the students.
Phil Fontaine is a Special Advisor of the Royal Bank of Canada. He serves as a director for numerous private and public companies including Chieftain Metals and Avalon Rare Metals. Mr. Fontaine served as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations for an unprecedented three terms. He is a Member of Order of Manitoba and has received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Equitas Human Rights Education Award, the Distinguished Leadership Award from the University of Ottawa, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and most recently was appointed to the Order of Canada. Mr. Fontaine also holds sixteen Honorary Doctorates from Canada and the United States.

The students and faculty of the EMBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership hosted a lecture with Dr. Stephen Cornell in October 2013 as part of the program. A panel of three joined Dr. Cornell in a discussion: Dr. Sophie Pierre, Chief Commissioner of the B.C. Treaty Commission, Lori Simcox, Senior Manager Tsleil Waututh Nation Economic Development, and Dr. Doug McArthur, SFU School of Public Policy.

Professor Stephen Cornell is teaching in the EMBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership program. He is the Co-Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development; Professor of Sociology and of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona, Director of the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona; as well as a faculty associate with the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy.

An Evening of Reconciliation: Keynote and Conversation with Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Ambassador, Reconciliation Canada, January 21, 2016. Hosted by SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement, SFU Public Square and The SFU EMBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership Program, Chief Joseph shared his thoughts on reconciliation as we are at a pivotal moment in Canadian history.

aemba logo

At a Glance

  • 12 credits per semester
  • 33 months
  • Downtown Vancouver
  • Cost: $54,000*
  • *Subject to Board of Governors approval.

Contact Us