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Twenty-two higher education institutions in British Columbia have signed an accord to offer more business education to First Nation Canadians. Research from the province’s Ministry of Advanced Education has suggested a need for greater participation in business programmes by Canadian aboriginals, something that faculty from University of British Columbia (UBC) agree with. “Aboriginal graduation from high school is well below the provincial average,” says Dr Jo-Ann Archibald, UBC’s Associate Dean of Indigenous Education. “This means that aboriginal participation and completion in post-secondary business studies requires a comprehensive programme [to encourage them]”

UBC has been championing the cause through its Ch’nook Aborigial Business Education Programme. Its Advanced Management course, which seeks to teach business from an aboriginal perspective, recently graduated its third class. UBC says that sometimes the aboriginal perspective can be a matter of simple geography: many Ch’nooks come from the interior north corner of the province, which is home to the oil, gas, forestry and mining sectors, while many others are from coastal areas where fishing and tourism are common. However, according to John Claxton, director of the programme, although many of the skills needed for business are universal across cultures, Ch’nooks can develop thier own unique, successful approach. “We start by working to dispel the stereotype that all businesses are identical in terms of the motivators behind business activities,” he says. “This makes it easy for students to see how their values can impact their business practices.”

Back to:
Which MBA online
The Economist’s Business Education page

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