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Photo by David Lipnowski, taken at the 2024 IBEP Graduation.

Celebrating history, heritage and resilience this National Indigenous Peoples Day

A year of storytelling only a snapshot of Indigenous Business Education Partners’ 30 years

June 17, 2024 — 

This National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Asper School of Business looks back on stories from 2023-24 that highlight First Nations, Inuit and Métis students and alumni, members of Indigenous Business Education Partners (IBEP).

Investing in student success

Asper alum Nicole MacIntosh [BComm(Hons)/23] recounts the people, centres and services that gave her the tools she needed to succeed. Her story reveals how investing in student success involves resources, workshops, tutoring, funding opportunities and the like. But often the first step is creating communities where students know that there are other people who see their potential and their struggles and truly care about their success.

Read more here about MacIntosh’s journey to graduation, how she navigated an ADHD diagnosis and the supports at Asper and beyond that empowered her to succeed.

MBA alum leads with bravery, vulnerability and truth

Named CEO of Treaty One Development Corporation this May, Kathleen BlueSky [MBA/15] has always been driven by a desire to uplift Indigenous people and create more sustainable, just systems in her community.

She shares how business and entrepreneurship have been impactful in both her career and identity journey. “As a First Nations woman, working with my community has always been my drive. It has been my goal, focus and vision to empower self-determination at every level. Business is the best place to do that, to reinforce a solid foundation of independence, self-worth, and spirit.

“Entrepreneurship is about believing in yourself, believing in your value, 100%,” she said.

Read more here about how BlueSky creates the groundwork for change, facilitates the creation of more just systems and effective leaders, challenges beliefs carried across generations and makes space for a new narrative of worthiness, reclamation and collective energy.

Building Métis community through inclusion and identity

For Asper student Matthew Carriere, inclusivity recognizes that every individual—every generation—has wisdom to offer.


Whether he is heeding advice from his grandparents (encouraging him to go with his gut and pursue business) or engaging with the next generation of Indigenous business and Métis leaders, Carriere works to create spaces that value experience at every level—what he refers to as a “ladder of wisdom.”


“Everyone has their own story,” he explains. “Everyone is a visionary. Share your life experience and what you’ve seen of the world and seek that out in others. That exchange, that’s your leverage.”

Read more here about how Carriere is working to support Métis youth communities and what’s next in his Asper journey.

This National Indigenous Peoples Day, IBEP and the Asper School of Business are proud to share these stories. With nearly 200 alumni and approaching 30 years of serving First Nations, Inuit and Métis students at the Asper School of Business, IBEP has far more stories than can be captured in this short compilation. 

Learn more about how you can support student success—through mentoring, lunch-and-learns and career exploration—at the Asper School of Business by connecting with IBEP here.

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