Asper School of Business students receive Manitoba Indigenous Youth Achievement Awards
Building on strong IBEP legacy, two students recognized for academic and professional achievement
Two Asper School of Business undergraduate students have received Manitoba Indigenous Youth Achievement Awards (MIYAAs). Brenden Tait won in the Academic (Senior) category, while John Lodge won in the Business/Entrepreneurship category.
Since 1995, the MIYAAs have celebrated the achievements of Indigenous youth aged 16 to 24, giving out nearly 400 awards to date. Asper students have historically been represented across many categories, winning 41 MIYAAs since the award’s inception, thanks in part to the services and support offered by Indigenous Business Education Partners (IBEP).
Housed at Asper, IBEP supports students who wish to pursue a business degree, providing services to help students apply to the competitive program and offering students tutoring, scholarships and networking opportunities throughout their degree.
IBEP also strives to celebrate Indigenous student success at Asper, making a point to nominate exceptional students each year who demonstrate academic achievement, showcase leadership and contribute to the IBEP community.
Brenden Tait – MIYAA Winner, Academic (Senior)
Brenden Tait, a Métis student and finance major at the Asper School of Business, received a MIYAA in recognition of his outstanding academic record. Appearing on the Dean’s Honour List five times in his degree so far, Tait balances challenging coursework with practical experience outside of the Drake Centre.
“Receiving a MIYAA is a huge honour,” says Tait. “I recall leaving the gala feeling extremely inspired by the creativity, determination and hard work put forth by the other nominees.”
Supporters of Tait’s nomination describe him as a natural leader, as well as an outgoing and approachable member of the IBEP community.
His work experience combines leadership and creativity, set against the backdrop of the Whiteshell, where Tait describes feeling most at peace. In the summer, he manages West Hawk Lake’s Nite Hawk Café. He also engages his creativity at TaitCreative, a family business where he helps with the design of visual media and branding content for business clients.
Most recently, Tait interned for AMIK Inc, working on Indigenous recruitment projects, as he believes that bringing Indigenous perspectives into the business world is key for implementing more sustainable and ethical business practices.
Tait hopes to pursue a career in finance while finding opportunities to engage his creative side through marketing. He describes his ideal life as living in nature, spending his days making art, believing that people live on through the art they create.
“To Indigenous youth, I say: Never stop creating, for your art is your voice, and the world needs to hear it.”
John Lodge – MIYAA Winner, Business/Entrepreneurship
After he completes his Bachelor of Commerce at the Asper School of Business, Lodge will pursue a law degree, focused on Indigenous law. A Red River Metis Citizen, Lodge is currently finishing a double major in finance and marketing at Asper.
“Receiving a MIYA Award is instrumental to aiding in the completion of my post-secondary aspirations,” says Lodge. “With my hopes of pursuing a degree in law, this award will help me present my Indigenous community at the highest level.”
Supporters of Lodge’s nomination describe him as an ambitious and driven student guided by compassion for his friends, family and community. IBEP Program Recruiter and Advisor Riley Proulx notes that Lodge took initiative at IBEP, encouraging fellow students to participate in Asper case competitions for the upcoming year alongside him.
Over the past few years, Lodge has taken on greater responsibilities at his family business Lodge Trees in the wake of family health emergencies. He did so while balancing summer work at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and taking summer courses at Asper.
Lodge moves forward boldly, encouraging Indigenous youth and future leaders to aim high. “Always stay hungry in life. If something has been achieved before, you have every reason to believe that you can achieve it.”