Overview of Ch'nook

What is Ch'nook?

Ch'nook is a unique initiative founded by the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Established to address the needs of sustainable economic development in Indigenous communities, Ch’nook also recognizes the importance of celebrating the accomplishments of existing successful Indigenous business leaders, organizations, and current students pursuing business education.

The name Ch’nook was chosen as a reminder of the Chinook jargon (pronounced Ch’nook) used in earlier times as the language of trade.

The Ch'nook mission
Image of student from Ch'nook with her child

The Ch'nook mission

Ch’nook’s vision for its Indigenous Business Education strategy is composed of four principles.
Support Ch'nook

Support Ch'nook

The support of our alumni, community and corporate partners has been crucial to the growth and success of Ch’nook.
Our people

Our people

Meet the Ch'nook management team

Our history

Ch’nook was founded when the late Maurice Young and John McArthur provided the initial resources and encouragement to focus attention on Indigenous business education. Dr. Jo-ann Archibald, 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 longstanding UBC Native Teacher Education Program (NITEP), developed an initial plan. Since then, Ch’nook has become a leading organization in the development and encouragement of business education for Indigenous students and professionals.


What we do

Ch'nook is focused on developing leadership and management skills needed for business success and economic independence. We provide high-level educational opportunities to students requiring the knowledge needed to compete in tomorrow’s world.


How we do it

Working with community, business, and academic partners, Ch'nook promotes business as a viable career choice for Indigenous students and supports them in achieving their education in management and business. Ch'nook contributes to community-based economic development through its dual focus on fostering student interest in and engagement with business education opportunities and on supporting Indigenous business leaders and entrepreneurs in developing crucial business skills and capabilities.

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
Associated Dean Indigenous Eduction

Donate now

By supporting Ch’nook Indigenous Business Education, you do so much more than help a future community leader – you will help create a foundation for community success and prosperity for the betterment of all Canadians. Together, we can build management capacity in Indigenous communities, learn from one another and continue to advance reconciliation.


Ch'nook Logo