First Nations Business Development Association and SFU Beedie Executive Education sign new agreement

Oct 17, 2023

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building historic beedie segal downtown vancouver sfu campus

SFU Beedie’s Segal Graduate School in downtown Vancouver. (Photo credit: Adrian Ortega)

The First Nations Business Development Association (FNBDA) and SFU’s Beedie School of Business, Executive Education have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore ways to expand economic reconciliation between First Nations, the educational system, and business interests that advance our collective society.

The MOU is the first step in establishing a collaboration between FNBDA and Executive Education to develop and deliver educational opportunities through a comprehensive micro-credential program. This programming will address the rapidly expanding capacity needs of First Nations development corporations, promoting economic development and sustainability while respecting Indigenous perspectives and knowledge.

FNBDA’s managing director, Michael Bonshor, says: “Supporting the business and economic capacity of B.C. First Nations and their business interests is a key pillar of the FNBDA work. We are very pleased to have SFU as a partner and look forward to the collaboration that this MOU provides and building business capacity solutions for our membership.”

“The Executive Education team is honoured to be a partner in this innovative collaboration that centres First Nations leadership in a rapidly shifting economic landscape,” says Denise Williams, Special Advisor to the Dean of SFU’s Beedie School of Business. “We are very much looking forward to collaborating with FNBDA and having this opportunity to provide highly customized and relevant learning pathways. SFU Beedie continues to seek ways to serve Indigenous peoples and we are grateful to FNBDA for giving us the opportunity to build and create together.”

The MOU is founded on the following shared principles and understandings:

  • Recognition of the imperative and significant opportunities inherent in economic reconciliation between First Nations, the educational system, and business interests that advance our collective society.
  • Respect for the Title and Rights of First Nations, the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, and the role of business, education, and economic development in creating prosperity with First Nations.
  • Realizing that the pathway to reconciliation and collective prosperity can be expedited through sustainable, respectful, and equitable economic development that incorporates opportunities for new educational opportunities by B.C. First Nation citizens.

The FNBDA has been established since 2020 and is comprised of First-Nations-owned development corporations in B.C., with a mandate to support, advocate for, and create opportunities that benefit the economic wellbeing of B.C. First Nations and their membership.

SFU Beedie Executive Education seeks to develop innovative and socially responsible business leaders with a global perspective through education, inspired by research and grounded in practice, by bridging the scholarship and practice of management to develop leaders who positively impact their organizations and communities.