Research projects

Dr. John Borrows, Indigenous perspectives on fiduciary duty

Dr. John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law and Research and NCIED Law faculty champion and Research Associate Shayla Praud, a student in the dual law degree program at UVic, recently completed a research project exploring Indigenous perspectives on fiduciary duty.

The project was sponsored by Reconciliation & Responsible Investment Initiative (RRII), a partnership between the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association (NATOA) and the Shareholders Association for Research and Education (SHARE), together with The Circle on Philanthropy and with support from the Qube Foundation.

Borrows and Praud explored questions, such as:

  • What is an Indigenous law understanding of the duties of someone who holds assets in trust for the benefit of others?
  • How does Indigenous law speak to the issues of applying Indigenous values, beliefs, and interests in investment policy?

Their research was published in a discussion paper, Teachings of Sustainability, Stewardship, & Responsibility: Indigenous Perspective on Obligation, Wealth, Trusts, & Fiduciary Duty.

Additionally, in a webinar on September 25, 2020, the authors presented their research findings, including how Indigenous law can inform fiduciaries’ governance of Indigenous trusts and investment.

Dr. Brent Mainprize, SSRHC grant

On March 23, 2020, the SSHRC Partnership Development Grant competition awarded Dr. Brent Mainprize $199,877 for the project: Engaging Aboriginal Generation of Leaders and Entrepreneurs (EAGLE): Indigenous culture and values in business education.

Last year, the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) kicked off the fully-funded, $3.3M BC Indigenous 3C Challenge in partnership with the University of Victoria’s (UVic) Gustavson School of Business. The 3C Challenge is an innovative experiential learning program specifically designed to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of 1,000 urban Indigenous youth to prepare them for long- term meaningful employment. 

The research will seek to answer the following questions: (1) What are the wise practices required to engage with Indigenous knowledge in order to optimize student learning in the context of economic development? (2) Does the inclusion of wise practices within a curriculum enhance student outcomes? (3) If so, how significant is the improvement in outcome? (4) How can these wise practices be shared and appropriately integrated to help Canadian post-secondary institutions on the road to economic reconciliation?

The research team consists of Mainprize, principle investigator; Nicholas Claxton, co-principle investigator; Arthur Mercer, collaborator; and a diverse group of leaders including representatives from BCAAFC, Indigenous communities, and Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP). Indigenous graduate students will be activity involved in all phases of the project.

Dr. Brent Mainprize, Mitacs project

Mitacs awarded Dr. Mainprize $45,000 in 2020 to conduct the research project: Wise Practices in Indigenous Entrepreneurship Education.

In Canada, Indigenous peoples are working to improve the social and economic wellbeing of their communities through revitalizing their economies. Tribal Resource Investment Corporation (TRICORP) and the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business co-created and developed the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACE) program.

The ACE program provides entrepreneurial training and mentorship in their home communities for members of First Nation communities, governments and financial institutions. While the ACE program has integrated ways of knowing with “mainstream” entrepreneurship, past and present ACE students have asked for more culturally relevant curriculum. The proposed research will seek to improve the curriculum and teaching styles of the ACE program by incorporating “wise practices” in the program.

Wise practices are locally and culturally appropriate practices and principles that are specific to Indigenous communities (Wesley-Esquimaux & Calliou, 2010). The proposed research project, in partnership with TRICORP, will use the ACE program to identify wise practices for entrepreneurial education and measure the affects on student outcomes, success, and learning.

Using participatory action research (PAR) and other culturally appropriate qualitative methods, we will investigate how the current ACE curriculum affects participant learning and assess how to further integrate culturally appropriate tools, actions and principles – wise practices – into the curriculum, course material and teaching styles of the ACE program.

The research project will provide important information for teaching faculty and researchers who design and deliver curricula intended for Indigenous communities and provide valuable information on the impact of specific wise practices and methods, and their reception by Indigenous learners.

Chanze Gamble, Mitacs Accelerate project

Mr. Chanze Gamble, NCIED Research Lead, received Mitacs Accelerate funding for his research project "Emergency Management Planning for Indigenous Communities".

The research focuses on the COVID-19 global pandemic and collaborative emergency management planning between Indigenous communities and federal/provincial/territorial governments to meet the health and safety needs of citizens.

A close review of the infrastructure and resources that are required to sustain and enhance community wellbeing will be considered with a focus on the administrative and governance structures of Indigenous governments.

The research objective is to enhance the coordination of emergency management planning by Indigenous governments with external stakeholders, while ensuring the inherent Indigenous right to self-determination is recognized and honoured.