Indigenous management and leadership programs

Management and leadership

Advancing Indigenous Management (AIM)

The Advancing Indigenous Management (AIM) program, presents important training for those wanting to enhance their management and leadership skills. Designed and developed in 2020, in partnership with Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP), Gustavson School of Business (GSB) and Coast Mountain College (CMC), AIM supports participants to build on their management, administrative, and leadership knowledge, skills and capabilities to increase their organizations’ impact in their community.

Tailored for members of Indigenous organizations in northwest BC, AIM offers key village or band employees strategic planning that supports Nations’ approaches with current initiatives, and prepares for the future, while taking a holistic approach to managing community resources. AIM provides key tools, skills and techniques for administrative and financial officers; economic development officers; project managers; individuals looking to create change in their community through business partnerships; and individuals new to their role.

GSB and CMC instructors will deliver six, 2-day courses in Terrace, in an environment that creates an opportunity to understand and apply fresh perspectives, strong core operational abilities, concrete action plans, networking opportunities, and social innovation. Importantly, the flexible delivery format allows participants to return to their organizations and apply the skills immediately to projects and initiatives.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic, completion of the inaugural program has been postponed until 2021.

BCAAFC Management Training Academy (MTA)

BCAAFC, NCIED and Gustavson School of Business, in partnership with the Ministry of Advanced Education, secured funding for a BCAAFC Management Training Academy (MTA). From September 2019 to February 2020, participants selected from Friendship Centres in BC completed the MTA to further their training, experience and management skill set to aid in the succession planning for Friendship Centres.

To support new managers taking on senior management positons, the customized program provided tools, techniques and skills to enhance their effectiveness as leaders. The program design focused on guiding participants to build, frame and apply their own knowledge to create a collective experience. At the same time, the training created an opportunity to understand and apply fresh perspectives, stronger core operational abilities, leadership skills, concrete action plans, and networking opportunities to use in their day-to-day work as they progressed through the program.

Participants’ evaluations reflected what they considered to be of most value.

This program equipped me with tools that I have immediately applied. Every piece of this program has been useful.

Everything. Budgeting, proposals, law, contracts, work plans, core competencies, audits, risk management, branding & marketing, change management.

I met the most amazing people who are incredible. The professors were amazing and I have learned so much. I have the skill set I hoped for coming into this training and lifelong allies.

The cultural aspect. Connection to everyone. Having that support made a huge difference.

Graduates of the MTA gathered at Wawditla, Mungo Martin House, at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, to celebrate their achievements.

Requests for more programs, including, a ‘Masters’ initiative affirmed the success of the MTA! 

bcaafc mta graduates 2020

BCAAFC Management Training Academy graduates, Wawadit’la, Mungo Martin House, February 22, 2020.


Haida Manager Development Program (HMDP)

The Haida Manager Development Program (HMDP) focused on fundamentals in community development, business management and leadership, and social innovation. Co-designed in 2018 by the Council of the Haida Nation, the Skidegate Band Council, Old Massett Village Council and Gustavson School of Business (GSB), HMDP honoured and built upon the skills and knowledge participants brought into the program. The ultimate goal of HMDP was to develop the capacity of Haida member participants to successfully step into the growing number of management and leadership roles within one of the 15 Haida affiliated organizations.

A blend of GSB professors and local Haida facilitators delivered in-community six modules identified as critical for the success of the political body, directors, managers and staff of Haida organizations. Each 3-day module presented a dynamic combination of intensive study and practical application. With a solid professional foundation of tools and skills to enhance their organizations’ impact, participants were able to integrate and apply their new skills immediately to projects and initiatives in their current roles, make a difference in their workplace and community, and grow into new higher-level roles.

Within a framework for the integrated management of land, natural resources and the environment, HMDP supported directly or indirectly the social, environmental, political and economic goals of the Haida Nation. Participants engaged in a continuing process based on a broad vision that embraced sustainability and set clear goals, while being both enforceable and flexible enough to deal with changing circumstances.

The success of the initial HMDP led to a second delivery in 2019.

CAMP (Canadian Aboriginal Management Program)

2014 Inaugural CAMP

The inaugural NW-CAMP (Canadian Aboriginal Management Program), developed in partnership with Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP) and Gustavson School of Business, launched in 2014. The initiative provided administration, financial and economic development officers, project managers and Indigenous business owners with important tools to enhance their organizations’ impact in their communities. During specialized modules, participants not only learned key skills, they applied these skills in their community to make an immediate difference. Eight modules were delivered in Prince Rupert, BC, and two at the University of Victoria.


The graduating class and instructors at the 2014 NW-Camp program, outside the First Peoples House, University of Victoria.

Splatsin Indigenous Management Program

Co-designed in 2015 by Splatsin Nation and a team within Gustavson School of Business, the Splatsin Indigenous Management Program (SIM) focused on community development and capacity building. The program’s structure of 2-3 day modules delivered in community in North Okanagan over a three-month period presented a dynamic combination of intensive study and practical application. With a focus on a strategic planning process, courses in the critical areas of management and leadership presented best practices that honoured and augmented the skills and knowledge the participants brought to the program.

Key outcomes of SIM included participants’ immediate impact in their organizations and communities together with engagement in a continuing process based on a broad vision that embraced sustainability and set clear goals.

Nisga’a CAMP

In 2019, at the invitation of the Nisga’a Nation, a CAMP program for Project Managers was co-developed and delivered by Gustavson School of Business. The initiative, tailored for project managers, allowed participants to develop a project of their choice that related to their work and aligned with the curriculum. Integrated courses, 2-3 days in length, and delivered in the Nass Valley from January – March 2020, supported participants to continue working. The design created an opportunity to not only learn new skills, but to immediately apply them to their projects. Fresh perspectives, strong core operational abilities, leadership and networking tools, and concrete action plans, enhanced participants’ project management skills.

One of the participants, a Housing/Capital Projects Manager, remarked,

The classes gave me a better perspective of my daily tasks working in governance. Gave me tools that allowed me to effectively communicate. I’ve gained vast amounts through this program; however the most stand out, was to work with other villages; Gingolx, Laxgalts’ap, Gitwinsihlkw. It certainly gave me a bridge to share and obtain information from other workers within our nation.