University partners with new national initiative aimed to advance Indigenous Innovation for Economic Transformation, Employment and Well-Being
SACKVILLE, NB — Mount Allison University has joined a partnership called Luminary, a new initiative to advance Indigenous Innovation for Economic Transformation, Employment and Well-Being.
Luminary partners are embarking on a planning initiative from April-December 2021 to co-create a strategy and plan to increase cooperation and collaboration among the academic community and Indigenous businesses and communities.
This new initiative and partnership is organized by the non-profit organization Indigenous Works. There are presently just over 140 Luminary partners consisting of universities and colleges across Canada, Indigenous and mainstream businesses, Indigenous economic development corporations, and various NGO’s.
“This important initiative will grow the Indigenous innovation eco-system to address significant socio-economic gaps and economic priorities and opportunities,” says Mount Allison University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau. “Economic reconciliation and inclusion are important steps toward societal equity but cannot be achieved without meaningful direction from Indigenous communities and agencies in New Brunswick. Mount Allison is pleased to be part of this growing network towards change.”
Chief Engagement Officer for Luminary, Kelly Lendsay says the organization is excited to welcome Mount Allison to its network.
“Indigenous people want to expand their national and global businesses in ways which bring economic prosperity, jobs and well-being to their communities, and this will help all Canadians,” says Lendsay.
Mount Allison activities in the partnership will be administrated by the Ron Joyce Centre for Business
Studies/Department of Commerce in collaboration with Indigenous Works and other community partners. University researchers and research agencies connected to Mount Allison will adhere to the ethics which guide research on Indigenous peoples. (University and Mi’kmaq Ethics).
“As a proud Luminary Charter partner, our school and the business schools across Canada have an opportunity to advance economic reconciliation by creating opportunities for Indigenous research talent, new research on Indigenous economic priorities and to grow a culture of innovation with Indigenous partners,” says Dr. Nauman Farooqi, Mount Allison University’s Dean of Business and Social Sciences.
During this seven-month planning phase, partners will share information and perspectives, design appropriate programs and services to increase collaborations, and develop a strategy for a five-year Luminary plan. They will consider how to increase Indigenous research and innovation and what support will be required to do this. The network will enable both faculty and students from participating schools, including Mount Allison, to contribute and learn from the program.
Indigenous Works has consulted with over 500 people to date from the Indigenous and academic communities, and they identified an ‘engagement gap’ and strong need for research, especially in the area of Indigenous economic innovation.
There has been little research done on economic inclusion innovation and progress in this area would develop businesses and build communities.
The current partnership, with all parties working together, will foster trust as well as build lasting relationships. Two Eyed Seeing/Etuaptmumk, introduced by Mi'kmaw Elder Albert Marshall, is a teaching that underscores the value of traditional and western ways of knowing and doing.
In January 2020, the National Tri-Agency — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council — released a report called ‘Setting New Directions to Support Indigenous Research and Research Training in Canada’. This was in response to the Canada Research Coordinating Committee recommendation to co-develop with Indigenous Peoples an interdisciplinary research and research training model that contributes to reconciliation. Luminary is an Indigenous-led initiative that seeks to address many of the intended outcomes identified in this report and by focusing on Indigenous business and community economic priorities.
Indigenous Works is an award-winning, ISO certified, national Indigenous not-for-profit organization whose mandate is to increase Indigenous engagement in the Canadian economy. They provide strategies, programs and services to private sector, Indigenous groups, government and post-secondary institutions. Indigenous Works created Luminary as a new Indigenous-led initiative to advance the Indigenous innovation eco-system focusing on Indigenous business and community economic priorities to transform economies, employment and well-being.