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June 17, 2010

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.

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

The networking and fundraising event was a second-year class project created and managed by 12 students.

“The experience was a lesson in leadership development, networking, team work, time management, marketing, organization, budgeting, volunteer and event management,” says Program Leader Susanne Thiessen.“I think the students did a superb job.”

The business of leadership

The two-year IBL program blends Indigenous perspectives in management and leadership with a general business education. Financial accounting, business communications, marketing, law and economics are all part of the curriculum, 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.

Entrepreneurial spirit and support

More than 60 business people, Indigenous leaders and student entrepreneurs attended the April fundraiser and bid on over 60 limited edition Indigenous prints, cedar carvings, weavings, textiles and silver jewellery created by such well-known 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 GoBid, with bidding open a few weeks in advance of the event, and continuing through the April 8 evening itself.

Leadership going forward

“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 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.”

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: August 18, 2010 9:11 am

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