Celebrating SFU Beedie IBL EMBA graduate Nyden Iron-Nighttraveller

Jun 10, 2024

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Nyden Iron-Nighttraveller will proudly add MBA to his list of accomplishments when the entrepreneur and father of four graduates from SFU Beedie’s Indigenous Business Leadership Executive MBA (IBL EMBA) program on June 12.

Iron-Nighttraveller’s educational and professional journey has not been linear. The embodiment of perseverance, he completed his undergraduate degree in 2020 taking courses when and where he could, both in-person and online, and at two different universities, so he could study while working full-time as a scaffolder to support his family. “I understood that education would provide me with the opportunities to reach my personal and professional goals, so it was never an option to quit, despite being a challenge every step of the way,” says Iron-Nighttraveller.

As a journeyman scaffolder and with his Bachelor of Commerce from Thompson Rivers University, Iron-Nighttraveller became founder, president and CEO of Amarok Scaffolding Ltd. With still more career aspirations to achieve, he next  set his sights on an MBA.

“I wanted an MBA program that would benefit my career goals and resonate with my challenges as an Indigenous entrepreneur,” says Iron-Nighttraveller, a citizen of the Canoe Lake Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan. He says the IBL EMBA not only catered to his professional needs but also provided an environment that acknowledged his unique challenges, his goals and his heritage.

Iron-Nighttraveller emphasizes the importance of giving back as a key takeaway from his IBL EMBA experience. “There were quite a few projects that shifted my perspective on business, in a good way. The importance of reciprocity and meaningful contribution was a significant lesson.” Reflecting on his time at SFU Beedie, Iron-Nighttraveller highlighted the transformative nature of the program.

Throughout his EMBA journey, Iron-Nighttraveller received several accolades. He is a recipient of the Young Aboriginal Entrepreneur Award (2024) from the Canadian Council for Indigenous Business and is a finalist for the Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year (2023) from CanadianSME. “The IBL EMBA allowed me to focus on my strengths and work on my weaknesses, which has directly contributed to my success as an entrepreneur,” he says. “The cohort was full of inspiring leaders, and the personal growth I experienced was inevitable.”

Iron-Nighttraveller recognizes the support he received along the way. He appreciates his family and friends for their unwavering support, other Indigenous entrepreneurs, and SFU Beedie for providing a program where he truly felt he belonged as an Indigenous person. Additionally, he acknowledges the support from various scholarships, including the BMO John Ellis Graduate Award, CIBC Graduate Award, NorthPac Forestry Group Graduate Award, and the Strathcona Resources Momentum Indigenous Scholarship.

Looking ahead, Iron-Nighttraveller is optimistic about the future. “The possibilities are endless,” he says. “I’m not worried about what the future holds. With my experience and the skills learned in the IBL EMBA program, I, like other SFU MBA grads, will be doing amazing things wherever we end up.”


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