Llgaay gwii gina sk'aadGa 'láas ad Xaaydas gina Gan unsid

Enhancing business education with Indigenous knowledge

A long-term initiative to Indigenize UBC Sauder

Through a Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) grant and with additional support from the BMO Indigenous Teaching Fund, UBC Sauder faculty and staff are working together to infuse our business education mission with Indigenous knowledge.

The goal of the project is to weave Indigenous perspectives, knowledge, and competencies into the pedagogy of UBC Sauder, and to ensure Indigenous students are engaging in a healthy, supportive learning environment. Curriculum resources and training opportunities are being developed to support faculty to approach Indigenous topics in an informed and sensitive manner. This work is in alignment with UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan, and specifically addresses goals 4, 6 and 7.

A future that includes reconciliation must also include the challenging work of decolonizing established worldviews and approaches to business, education and research. This project specifically makes space for this work, and integrates across other initiatives from Ch’nook Business Education and other UBC departments

About Ben Wells

TLEF Project Manager – Enhancing Business Education with Indigenous Knowledge

Ben Wells comes to UBC Sauder from a diverse background as an entrepreneur, facilitator and community builder. Ben is of mixed settler and Indigenous backgound, including the Shxw’ow’hamel near Hope, BC, Métis of Duck Lake, Saskatchewan and Irish, German and Italian immigrants. He was raised in the territories of the Tk’emlúps te Secwèpemc (Kamloops) and Haida, and moved to the lower mainland in 2010. Ben co-founded the worker-cooperative Shift Delivery in 2011. Departing Shift in 2019, Ben completed a BA in Psychology at UBC in 2021.

Ben believes that cultivating the responsible leaders of tomorrow means more than just teaching students how to interact with Indigenous peoples in a respectful way. “This project is so important as it seeks to break down persistent stereotypes and bring the complexity and nuance of the Indigenous experience into the classroom and to future business leaders. This essential work enriches education for all and helps further Truth, Reconciliation and Indigenous sovereignty.”

Ben Wells

About Maria Jose Athie Martinez

TLEF Project Assistant 

Maria Jose comes to UBC Sauder as a Ph.D. Candidate in Curriculum Studies from the UBC Faculty of Education. She has over two decades of experience developing curricula based on decolonized and Indigenous methodologies, focusing on the interests and needs of local Indigenous communities and elders. Maria Jose is a Two-Spirit Mestiz@ from Mexico, with mixed-race background: Lebanese, Basque, Spanish, English, French, and Indigenous from Guerrero State. She was born in Mexico City and raised in the traditional and unceded territory of the Mayan, in Quintana Roo, Mexico. She has been an uninvited visitor on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) traditional territories for over seven years now.

Maria Jose is honored to be part of this team and to witness the essential journey UBC Sauder is undertaking through the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives. She believes that these perspectives will facilitate unique approaches to business education and research, ultimately helping to enrich and expand the positive impacts UBC Sauder offers to its communities.

Maria Jose

About Brad Jackson

TLEF Project Assistant

Brad Jackson comes to UBC Sauder as a Ph.D. Candidate in English from the UBC Faculty of Arts. Brad is of settler heritage, raised on the lands spanning Lake Ontario to the Niagara Escarpment, a territory that is mutually covered by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant (a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas, and Haudenosaunee) and is part of the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. Brad first came to British Columbia as a tree planter during the summer months of his undergraduate degree and returned to the lower mainland to complete his graduate studies at UBC. He has been an uninvited visitor on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) traditional territories.  

Brad has extensive experience working on pedagogical projects at UBC. He has experience as a teaching assistant on several courses pertaining to arts and cross-cultural studies. Additionally, he has worked on several pedagogical research projects, including projects for the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) and 3M Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (3M STLHE).

Brad Jackson

About Fiona Kelly

TLEF  Project Assistant

Fiona Kelly (she/they) is an Irish-American and French-Canadian settler from Connecticut, USA. She has had the opportunity to work in and research libraries and museums in England, Scotland, Aotearoa New Zealand, the United States, and Canada, exploring themes of settler colonialism, empire, white supremacy, national identity, and Indigeneity. They are currently in her first year of their Masters in Library and Information Sciences at the University of British Columbia, where she is also a part of the First Nations Curriculum Concentration. She is focused on using museum collections and records as a means of relationship repair and building with First Nations, including repatriation and records research to support linguistic, cultural, and political revitalization. They are also particularly invested in facilitating the use of archival materials to support many First Nations and Indigenous communities’ ongoing legal fights for self-determination, autonomy, and sovereignty in the United States and Canada, as well as the return of ancestors and belongings currently being housed in colonial institutions. In their free time she enjoys reading, embroidery, and cooking.

Fiona Kelly

About Hypatia Behar-Gryl

TLEF  Project Assistant

Hypatia Behar-Gryl comes to UBC Sauder as a BCom ’24 candidate, specializing in General Business Management and minoring in Political Science. She is of French, Polish, and Sephardic descent; during her studies, she is a settler on the territories of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Peoples, otherwise living on the stolen territory of the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk) in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal).

Particularly involved in ethics and sustainability in her extracurricular life, Hypatia has mostly oriented her schoolwork and professional opportunities towards researching Indigenous communities across the world, with a specific focus on the land claims of Indigenous communities in Eastern Europe. Hypatia is grateful to participate in this project and to work towards integrating Indigenous knowledge and methodology in a business education context and beyond.

Hypatia Behar-Gryl