“We before me”: Algonquin to open Indigenous entrepreneurship centre

October 19, 2016

Algonquin College has officially begun a $44.9M building and renovation project that will include the creation of what is reportedly the first Indigenous entrepreneurship centre in the Ontario college system. Housed within the Algonquin College Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Centre, the Institute for Indigenous Entrepreneurship will look to attract students from Indigenous communities in Eastern Ontario, Cree communities in Quebec, and Ottawa’s 3,000-plus urban Inuit population. Executive Director of Indigenous Initiatives Ron McLester tells the Ottawa Citizen that a major component of the new centre will be to incorporate Indigenous perspectives into the teaching of entrepreneurship. “We don’t want to teach Aboriginal students to do work in a non-Aboriginal way. In the traditional model, it’s ‘we before me,’” he says. “We hope to get to the point where Indigenous entrepreneurship is not just with the students, but the community.” Ottawa Citizen | Algonquin