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Indigenous Business Leadership Executive MBA


This program is not eligible for international students at this time. Our international students are encouraged to explore our Full-Time MBA, Graduate Diploma in Business Administration or Master of Science in Finance programs.

Commitment to the calls to action by the truth and reconciliation commission

As a business school, SFU Beedie School of Business is committed to supporting student learning to be in right relationship with Indigenous peoples. Part of the core curriculum is learning about the history and aspirations of Indigenous communities to gain a better understanding of how to build respectful partnerships with community and Nations in alignment with their economic development goals and enact economic reconciliation.

The IBL EMBA program themes are:
  • Entrepreneurship and business development
  • Building capacity of people and organizations
  • Sustainable, cultural and environmental stewardship
  • Principled leadership and governance

Orientation (In person)

Your IBL EMBA experience begins in July with an online welcome and orientation to the online platforms and support services available to you. Additionally, you will be required to complete a pre-accounting, Excel, and business communications course prior to your first day of classes. In the beginning of August, we will gather for a four-day compulsory in-person intensive orientation. This team-building opportunity introduces faculty, staff, and students, and provides you with a foundation for cohort- and community-based learning.

Year 1

Indigenous Business Leadership (In person)

Explore the collective potential of Indigenous leaders to drive meaningful change for Indigenous Nations. Examine and explore how traditional, contemporary, and emerging leadership styles and best practices result in achieving optimal performance in Indigenous organizations.

Financial and Managerial Accounting for Indigenous Leaders (Online)

Enhance your decision-making abilities through the exploration of three elements: financial governance, financial accounting, and managerial accounting. Learn and examine how the various forms of financial information that companies publish in financial statements are related, and how you can extract useful information to develop well-informed strategic plans and decisions.

Fundamentals of Project Management in Indigenous Organizations (Online)

Explore the fundamentals of project management by guiding students through the project management tools and skills necessary to successfully manage Indigenous-led or owned projects. Balance practice and theory to gain a solid understanding of current project management methodologies and techniques.

Data and Decision Making for Indigenous Businesses (Online)

Examine the need and importance of relevant, high-quality, accessible data to support the Indigenous business community and become inspired on how to collect and share data that protects and enhances our community wisdom and knowledge through examination of three key areas: data analytics; tools and resources for gathering and interpreting data; and Indigenous data sovereignty. Explore how data has been used to date within a colonial framework and learn how to reframe data knowledge from Indigenous centered worldviews.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Indigenous Communities (Online)

Explore, critique, and celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship as an important aspect of Indigenous community design. Mix theory with practice and reality, and apply the principles, concepts, and frameworks of innovation and entrepreneurship to situations that are important to you. By the end of the course you will know how to ideate and explore human-centred design in your thinking and planning for new business opportunities.

Indigenous Policy & Governance (In person)

The application of Indigenous law can develop community capacity, foster leadership, develop businesses, and influence policy. Recapturing, revitalizing, and newly developing Indigenous law can help communities improve well-being and economic success. Examine Indigenous legal values and consider their application in governance contexts to promote the resurgence of Indigenous social, political, cultural, and economic success.

Negotiations for Indigenous Leaders (Online)

Learn how to become a better negotiator through analysis of negotiation styles and develop a practical understanding of effective negotiating behaviours that will improve your ability to plan and conduct successful day-to-day negotiations in a variety of situations. The course will also provide opportunities for students to determine what role, if any, cultural protocols, history, and Indigenous approaches to negotiation play in successful negotiation situations.

Financial Management for Indigenous Leadership (Online)

Accountability is increasingly the fundamental motivation for First Nation governments and Indigenous organizations to establish sound financial management practices and procedures. Gain a solid grounding in the principles of business finance as it is applied to Indigenous communities and businesses. Students will be introduced to important financial tools to gain an appreciation of how business decisions impact both financial performance and shareholder value.

Indigenous Economies (In person)

Examine global Indigenous worldviews, theories, and concepts of Indigenous economy based on traditional principles of wealth and value. Aspects of the particular economic environments where Indigenous views on wealth and value intersect with Anglo-Western principles of wealth and value will be explored. Gain relational comprehension through content that encourages transformative approaches to development, innovative models based on Indigenous knowledge, and up-to-date research in this field.

Managing People and Organizations (Online)

Course description will be published soon.

Year 2

Indigenous Sustainability (In person)

Explore strategies on how Indigenous businesses and organizations can create and foster sustainable economic opportunities. Examine sustainability through a holistic lens that encompasses the ecological, social, and economic responsibilities of organizations. Students will consider alternative philosophies and theories concerned with corporate responsibility, and examine how modern businesses are re-aligning and, re-inventing corporate strategies toward more sustainable business models.

Marketing Strategies for Indigenous Leadership (Online)

Take a critical approach that seeks to decolonize the field of marketing and address challenges involved in launching, leveraging, and accelerating Indigenous products, services, or an Indigenous-owned company. Learn how to apply the fundamentals of marketing management, including understanding the fundamentals of competitive rationality, why competitive advantage needs to be managed as a process, and the creation and valuation of customer equity.

Business Strategy for Indigenous Leaders (Online)

Learn the principles and frameworks for evaluating threats to an organization’s performance by integrating business strategy into the broader backdrop of Indigenous economies and business-government relations. Gain an understanding of how policy choices enable private and collective enterprises to succeed and promote citizen wellbeing to further Indigenous Nation’s strategic goals.

Native Nations Institute (Online)

This course is delivered in partnership with the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona. Students gain insight around Indigenous communities that are fostering sustainable economic development while addressing the economic needs and aspirations of their citizens. Students will acquire a broader understanding of Nation-led economic development initiatives and Indigenous business leadership practices.

Applied Project Preparation (Online)

Learn the principles and fundamental elements of planning and preparation. Students will decide on a topic, develop their project concept, prepare a work plan and create an outline, and identify reasonable milestones and deliverables.

Applied Project (In person)

The Applied Project involves a review of the literature and the systematic application of frameworks, models, concepts, and theories applied to a specific business problem or situation for which students develop practical recommendations or conclusions. Students will undertake strategic business analysis and write an extended essay jointly supervised by SFU faculty members and/or an industry partner..

* Curriculum subject to change.