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EMBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership facilitates international Indigenous connections

May 02, 2016

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Students in the Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership this year participated in January-in-Tucson, a series of courses run by the University of Arizona’s Native Nations Institute, the world’s premier Indigenous governance and economic research institute.

Students in the Executive MBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership this year participated in a series of courses run by the University of Arizona’s Native Nations Institute, the world’s premier Indigenous governance and economic research institute.

At Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business, students in the pioneering Executive MBA in  Business and Leadership program are set to benefit from a new partnership – one that will expose them to some of the world’s top research in Indigenous governance and economic issues.

The Executive MBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership (EMBA IBL) is a unique program designed for Canada’s Aboriginal leaders, entrepreneurs, and others working with Aboriginal communities.

The first of its kind in Canada, and just the second program of its type in the world, it includes the core concepts and knowledge delivered in a regular MBA program, but also recognizes that traditional knowledge plays a significant role in Indigenous leadership and decision-making.

This past January, six students in the EMBA IBL travelled south to Tucson, Arizona. There, they participated in January-in-Tucson, a series of courses run by the University of Arizona’s Native Nations Institute, the world’s premier Indigenous governance and economic research institute.

The three-week session not only offers courses on Indigenous governance and rights issues taught by leading faculty from across the globe, but also facilitates dialogue between Indigenous peoples from all over the world who are in attendance – providing the Beedie students with new perspectives to familiar challenges.

“The benefit of the Tucson trip is not just the world-class education the students receive in the classroom, but also the opportunity for international knowledge exchange around these key issues,” says Mark Selman, academic director of the EMBA IBL at the Beedie School of Business.

“The Executive MBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership program already brings together people from different cultures across the country, but this adds a global component to it. By facilitating a dialogue amongst Indigenous peoples with different cultural backgrounds our students are exposed to ideas and perspectives they would not otherwise be privy to.”

The 2016 Tucson trip received such positive feedback from participating students that from next year it will become a core component of the EMBA IBL program for all students.

“Adding the Tucson component to the regular curriculum really solidified what we are learning in the Executive MBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership,” says EMBA IBL student Natiea Vinson.

“What was great about the Tucson trip is that we had indigenous students from across the world discussing best practices and what has worked for them over the last few decades. It is definitely an enhancement to what is an already excellent program.”

For more information on the Executive MBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership, visit beedie.sfu.ca/EMBA-Indigenous-Business-Leadership/