Aboriginal business students put the modernization of traditional industries into focus

Gathering of Chnook Scholars

Thirty Aboriginal business students, participants of Sauder’s Ch’nook Scholars program, met for a weekend of team building at Shq’apthut, the Aboriginal Gathering Place at Vancouver Island University (VIU) in mid-March.

The gathering, themed “The modernization of traditional industries,” brought together these future business leaders for workshops, to meet industry professionals and to network.

“We had speakers come who had new takes on west-coast industries, such as the Namgis inland fish-farm,” says Miranda Huron, Program Manager of Ch’nook Indigenous Business Education.

The Namgis First Nation’s closed containment salmon farm is the first land-based farm for Atlantic salmon in Canada.

“Every leader stressed the balance of keeping one’s tradition in a place of high-value while achieving leadership success,” says Huron.

The Ch’nook Scholars program, facilitated by Sauder's Ch'nook Indigenous Business Education initiative, started in 2001. Its purpose is to provide an aboriginal perspective and context to complement the business education that the students are pursuing at colleges and universities.

Today, the program supports Aboriginal business students across the province through workshops, scholarship funds and opportunities to meet fellow students.

In 2011, Ch’nook Business Education established a regional relationship with VIU’s Faculty of Management. The initiative also has regional partnerships with UBC, the University of Northern BC and Thompson Rivers University.

The next Ch’nook Scholars Gathering will be held at the UBC First Nations House of Learning in the fall of 2013.