What Will I Learn

The program consists of twelve courses and a  final capstone taken over two and a half years. The program begins with a two week intensive in-class component, followed by intensive one to two week in-person class sessions in the spring and fall semesters, and closes with an applied capstone project. In January 2017, the cohort will travel to the Native Nations Institute in Tucson to take a series of courses in Strategic Governance Factors in Indigenous Economic Development. The courses represent the equivalent of eight credits.

Philosophy of Management

This course is an introduction to governance and decision-making in Aboriginal business. Focus is placed on what was, what is, and what's possible for business in Aboriginal communities with an emphasis on understanding the relations between social sciences and indigenous epistemologies.

Managerial and Financial Accounting

This course combines basic accounting fundamentals and processes, enabling students to make business decisions based on analyzing financial information and organizational objectives. Aboriginal cases are drawn upon, such as accounting for government grant funding and calculating profit shares in joint ventures.


This course incorporates traditional mainstream leadership theories from human resources and team development with Aboriginal traditions. Canadian leaders should recognize the extent to which Canada has a Metis culture which is built on the interchange between European and Aboriginal cultures.

Strategic Governance Factors in Aboriginal Economic Development

This course explores the distinctive nature of businesses owned by Indigenous collectives of one kind or another (nations, tribes, communities) and the strategic, managerial, and governance challenges posed by that distinctiveness. Drawing on cases from North America and on a few cases from New Zealand and Australia, it considers the factors that support or hinder Indigenous business success. In 2017, the instructor Stephen Cornell is inviting the cohort to participate in an intensive program taught at the Native Nations Institute in Tucson. Credits earned will be applied to the EMBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership.


This course provides an understanding of markets for Aboriginal businesses and products of potential partners, especially energy and resource companies, and understanding of social marketing related to change initiatives in Aboriginal communities, and the processes involved in negotiating for better arrangements regarding partnerships and government funding by influencing potential partners.

Policy and Governance

Both Indigenous communities as well as Indigenous corporations are involved in developing evolving models of governance, policy development, implementation and analysis to develop a healthy business climate. Critical analysis of government policies is crucial for both economic and social development.

Business, Community, and Government

This course explores the types of decision-making, expectations and values of different types of organizations. It provides practical experience in representing and negotiating on behalf of different interest groups. Participants will be prepared to structure decision-making and negotiation processes to suit the needs of the situation.


In Aboriginal communities with relatively underdeveloped economies and many unmet social needs, people are turning to new ventures both as a way to create income and as a way to meet community needs.  This course will help people reflect on what it takes to create a new business or other organization and move through the stages from clarifying the idea to planning and implementation.

Organizational Change and Development

The process of managing organizational change is difficult. It often involves a journey that is costly, frustrating and negative in nature. The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the concepts, theories and methods that can be used to deliver effective and lasting change.

Strategies for Sustainability

Challenges and opportunities for businesses are explored by focusing on sustainability. Through the use of case studies critical decisions are explored for managing issues related to sustainability and the role of First Nations and related businesses as stewards of traditional territories.

Managerial Finance

Key business tools and principles of business finance are provided for decision-making on financial issues. The value and cost of money in relation to long-term investments and capital costs including community infrastructure are explored. Through the analysis of common business decisions, basic microeconomics and environmental risks participants acquire the tools for financial decision-making under uncertainty.

Business Strategy

This course provides participants the opportunity to synthesize and apply concepts and insights distilled from previous courses by focusing on the critical business skills of planning and managing strategic activities. The elements of strategic thinking; the methods of strategic analysis; the tasks and processes associated with strategy formulation and implementation are all examined in detail.


For the final course, students apply their learning to a final capstone project.. The spring session comprises a workshop on case analysis to prepare students to write their own analysis of a problem or opportunity of their choice. Students can opt to either work in a team or individually.

aemba learn

At a Glance

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

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