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The Camosun College Foundation is pleased to announce a $4,000 donation by the Allen and Loreen Vandekerkhove Family Foundation to create entrance awards for students in Camosun’s new Indigenous Business Leadership (IBL) Program.

Vandekerkhove Foundation creates scholarships for Camosun First Nations business students.
( l-r)  Alanna Holroyd and Loreen Vandekerkhove of the Vandekerkhove Family Foundation with Janice Simcoe, Chair of Camosun’s First Nations Dept. and Susan Haddon, Executive Director of the Camosun Foundation.

“The Vandekerkhove Family Foundation is a dedicated supporter of First Nations students at Camosun,” says Susan Haddon, Executive Director of the Camosun College Foundation. “Since 2004 the Vandekerkhove Foundation has contributed more than $100,000 to recognize and provide financial assistance to Aboriginal students in health care programs. More than 20 students have directly benefited from their assistance over the past four years.”

Camosun’s Indigenous Business Leadership program is the first of its kind in BC. A two-year diploma program, it explores and applies current Indigenous perspectives to business management and leadership. Its courses have been developed and taught by both Indigenous and School of Business faculty.

The program opened this September and students are studying financial and managerial accounting, communications, management, economics, information technology, finance, business law, marketing and business leadership with Indigenous realities, concerns and perspectives entwined throughout. Specific Indigenous courses include: Indigenous Business Context, Indigenous Leadership, Indigenous Business Relationships and a special Community Enterprise Project.

Graduates may transfer on to further education or pursue career opportunities in tourism and eco-tourism, management of arts or cultural organizations, entrepreneurship and small business ownership, managing Indigenous governments and non-profit organizations, consulting, various accounting designations, marketing and human resource management.

Stats Canada estimates Aboriginal people make up over four per cent of Canada’s population – over 1.3 million people, and are the fastest-growing segment of the population. Half are under the age of 25. There are more than 27,000 Aboriginal-owned businesses in Canada, half in urban areas. The Camosun College School of Business recognizes this and is committed to furthering the business education and leadership potential of Indigenous people.

The Indigenous Business Leadership Entrance Award provides two students with a $2,000 scholarship each this year. Candidates must demonstrate “a satisfactory academic standing, with community involvement experience and capacity to become a strong Indigenous business leader.”


Michelle Tinis
Camosun College Foundation

Last updated: October 29, 2008 9:26 am

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