Ch’nook History


“Our elders teach us to consider the future of our children and grandchildren as a guide for our day-to-day activities. This lesson leads to one very clear implication. We must provide educational opportunities that build the skills needed to participate in all aspects of tomorrow’s world. Ch’nook is focused on one very critical part of this skill building… developing the leadership and management skills needed to achieve business success and economic independence. Q’um Q’um Xiiem”

- Dr. Jo-ann Archibald


Our History

The Ch’nook Initiative is recognized as a pioneer and leader in Canada based on its success in addressing the challenges involved in trying to move from a very low participation rate for Aboriginal students in business education to encouraging, enabling and enhancing strong teams of Aboriginal business leaders and practitioners across Aboriginal communities in BC.

Forward-looking founders

Ch’nook was founded when the late Maurice Young and John McArthur provided the initial resources and encouragement to focus attention on Aboriginal business education. An initial plan was developed by Dr. Jo-ann Archibald, the then Director of the First Nations House of Learning, and Dr John Claxton from the Sauder School of Business, drawing heavily upon the success of the long-standing UBC Native Teacher Education Program (NITEP). Since then, Ch’nook has evolved to become a leading organization in the development and encouragement of business education for Aboriginal students and professionals.