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April 13, 2010

Camosun’s Indigenous Business Leadership (IBL) students raised $10,000 for student aid at their first-ever business mixer and art auction fundraiser, April 8 at Interurban campus.

IBL students posing with auction items.

Indigenous Business Leadership students and auction organizers Ann-Marie Livingston (left) and Kristi Thiele raised $10,000, along with their classmates, for student support.

A lesson in teamwork and organization

“The event was a second-year class project created and managed by 12 students,” says Program Leader Susanne Thiessen. “It was a lesson in leader development, networking, team work, time management, marketing, organization, budgeting, volunteer and event management and I think the students did a superb job.”

More than 60 business people, Indigenous leaders and student entrepreneurs attended the fundraiser and bid on over 60 limited edition Indigenous prints, cedar carvings, weavings, textiles and silver jewellery created by such well-know artists as Richard Hunt, Nancy Dawson and Art Thompson, to name a few.

Emceed by local television actor and medical doctor, Evan Adams, the festivities fused networking and online bidding together with Indigenous dancing, food, refreshments and fun.

Students creatively offered the auction completely online and developed it through Bidders could bid on items for three weeks before the event, opening up the fundraising to a wide audience. At the event, guests excitedly bid against external bidders up until 8:30pm.

Capable and creative entrepreneurs

“We are truly grateful to the many talented artists and local businesses who recognize the value of what our students are trying to accomplish and who gave so generously,” says Thiessen. “We also thank our patrons as the funds generated by their purchases are absolutely critical to student support. We plan to make this an annual program event on which subsequent classes will continue to build. As Indigenous people we are often criticized for holding our hands out. This accomplishment demonstrates our capability as entrepreneurs, our creativity in raising funds in an environment of scarcity and our commitment to supporting others in their educational journey.”

Camosun’s two-year IBL program blends Indigenous perspectives in management and leadership with a general business education. Courses include financial accounting, business communications, marketing, law, economics, as well as the Indigenous business environment and building Indigenous business relationships. The program also involves group work, guest speakers, field trips, traditional protocol and gatherings. Graduates can move directly into employment or transfer into third-year of Camosun’s Bachelor of Business Administration program. Currently 20 full- and part-time students are enrolled.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be held in the Camosun College Foundation to create bursaries and awards for future Indigenous Business students.


Susan Thiessen
Program Leader -Indigenous Business Leadership
Camosun College
E: or
Facebook:  Indigenous Business Leadership - Events

Last updated: April 14, 2010 8:45 am

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