The student-led Ted Rogers Indigenous in Business group will be bringing 500 people together (#maamawi) to celebrate the resurgence of Indigenous peoples and culture in business at its inaugural Reconciliation in Business 2022 event.
Ted Rogers Indigenous in Business is a new community-centered student group that works to increase Indigenous participation in leadership roles, highlight Indigenous entrepreneurs and encourage internal and external Indigenous students to seek an education at Ted Rogers School of Management and a career in business.
“Now is the time for all institutions to invest in Indigenous peoples, communities, technologies and knowledge,” says Cody Anthony, Founder, Ted Rogers Indigenous in Business and Reconciliation in Business 2022.
“We mean it when we say ‘the future is Indigenous.’ There are so many who are ready to come together in reciprocal partnership," he adds.
The Reconciliation in Business event takes place on September 25, 2022 and is open to everyone. It aims to respond to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #92 (external link, opens in new window) : Business and Reconciliation. Indigenous involvement in the Canadian economy means a path to self-determination, closing the socioeconomic gap that Indigenous peoples face and unlocking the $100 billion annual Indigenous economy.
“Our event is heavily inspired by the Indigenomics Institute (external link, opens in new window) , and the work that the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) accomplishes in their events,” says Anthony.
“Often, these events are focused towards the Indigenous population and are sometimes inaccessible to ‘Urban-Indigenous’ groups [Indigenous peoples' living away from their communities in urban areas],” he explains.
“Our objective is to bring an accessible event to both the non-Indigenous and Indigenous population to work towards Call to Action #92, and foster reciprocal relationships," says Anthony.
Anthony points out that Indigenous peoples’ have always been entrepreneurs. “In my research with Michael Mihalicz [Indigenous Advisor at the Ted Rogers School and Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship & Strategy], we were able to bring forward evidence of complex pre-colonial trade and exchange routes that contributed to the modern day economy,” he says.
“We hope to incorporate the stories of these trailblazing entrepreneurs in our event, and the art installations around the Ted Rogers School, and use it as motivation to establish a seat for all Indigenous peoples’ at the economic table,” Anthony adds.
The full-day event will be held at the Ted Rogers School and features panels on such topics as Indigenous in Tech, Indigenous Worldviews in the Classroom and Indigenous Attainment of Finance, keynote speakers on Reconciliation and Entrepreneurship and experiential workshops.
The event will welcome a new Birchbark Canoe to the Ted Rogers School made by Mi’kmaw artisan, Todd Labrador. Following the ceremony, there will be a big drum and dancing social with guests such as Elder Joanne Dallaire, and a drum group from the Mississaugas of the Credit. An Indigenous marketplace, an Indigenous feast and a live muralist will be part of the event as well.
The hashtag for the event is #maamawi, which is Anishinaabemowin for “together.” It applies to things that are alive - water, plants, animals, birds, fish and humans.
“Regardless of your background, you are invited to attend to experience Indigenous culture, our food and our talent,” says Anthony.
Tickets for the Reconciliation in Business 2022 (external link) are currently available to all members of the Toronto Metropolitan University community. They will be available to the general public on August 30, 2022. This event is 100% non-profit, and ticket sales will go towards Reconciliation initiatives.