Understanding how Indigenous community factors affect Indigenous entrepreneurial process
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Understanding how Indigenous community factors affect Indigenous entrepreneurial process Bob Kayseas, Ph.D. Purpose of interest. Purpose of interest. My own heritage (community) The situation that exists in many communities;. Purpose of interest.

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Purpose of interest
Understanding how Indigenous community factors affect Indigenous entrepreneurial processBob Kayseas, Ph.D.

Purpose of interest
Purpose of interest Indigenous entrepreneurial process

Purpose of interest1
Purpose of interest Indigenous entrepreneurial process

  • My own heritage (community)

  • The situation that exists in many communities;

Purpose of interest2
Purpose of interest Indigenous entrepreneurial process


    (Ryser in Seton, 1999, 4; emphasis in original).

Purpose of interest3
Purpose of interest Indigenous entrepreneurial process

  • …Stimulation of Indigenous entrepreneurship has the potential to repair much of the damage through creation of an enterprise culture, which fully respects Indigenous traditions but empowers Indigenous people as economic agents in a globally competitive modern world

  • (Hindle and Lansdowne, 2005).

Research problem
Research problem Indigenous entrepreneurial process

  • A core question:

    • what makes for successful as distinct from unsuccessful entrepreneurship in the Canadian band community context?

  • To answer this I needed to understand how Indigenous context at the community level influences entrepreneurial process.

  • Intended outcome…

Entrepreneurial process
Entrepreneurial process Indigenous entrepreneurial process

  • My core focus…

    • Involves all the functions, activities, and actions associated with the perceiving of opportunities

    • and the creation of value based on the perceived opportunities.

  • Within the context of Canadian First Nations…

Outcomes Indigenous entrepreneurial process

  • To describe and explain the importance of and the relationships between key contextual factors that affect successful or unsuccessful entrepreneurship within the context of the Indigenous Canadian Band community

  • To assist prospective Indigenous entrepreneurs to negotiate the positive and negative influences of these factors in order to develop entrepreneurial initiatives that are likely to succeed for the benefit of both the entrepreneur and the community at large.

Entrepreneurial environment
Entrepreneurial environment Indigenous entrepreneurial process

  • Considerable variation of people who choose self-employment by starting new firms across communities, regions, nations.

    • Causal factors?

    • Environmental factors?

  • The ‘entrepreneurial environment’ is the combination of factors that play a role in entrepreneurship developing in a country or region

Entrepreneurial environment1
Entrepreneurial environment Indigenous entrepreneurial process

  • (1) Venture capital availability

  • (2) Presence of experienced entrepreneurs

  • (3) Technically skilled labour force

  • (4) Accessibility of suppliers

  • (5) Accessibility of customers or new markets

  • (6) Governmental influences

  • (7) Proximity of universities

  • (8) Availability of land or facilities

  • (9) Accessibility of transportation

  • (10) Attitude of the area population

  • (11) Availability of supporting services

  • (12) Living conditions

Suggests that these affect both the entrepreneurial process and the outcomes

Case studies

Osoyoos Indian Band Indigenous entrepreneurial process

Neskonlith First Nation

Membertou First Nation, NS

Shubenacadie First Nation

Onion Lake First Nation

Lac La Ronge Indian Band

Case Studies

How and what affect the entrepreneurial process

How and what affect the entrepreneurial process? Indigenous entrepreneurial process

Yy first nation
YY First Nation Indigenous entrepreneurial process

  • 80%to 90% reliance on social assistance

  • 128 jobs – all in band government positions – and another 1,000 unemployed

  • Failed ventures

  • Social environment is ‘harsh’

Xy first nation
XY First Nation Indigenous entrepreneurial process

  • The chief and council operated almost all business affairs.

    • The Xx Mall had a debt load of approximately three quarters of a million dollars.

    • The Ranch was on the verge of shutting down.

  • The band is now in the process of delegating the authority for all of its business operations to the newly created Nation Development Corporation.

Xx first nation
Xx First Nation Indigenous entrepreneurial process

  • Seventy percent of the band membership is ‘on social assistance’ (Interviewee, 2009).

  • When asked why there was such a high dependency on social assistance payments, ‘lack of jobs, lack of skills, lack of commitment sometimes’ was offered as reasons

  • One Participant attributes the reliance on social assistance as being related to, ‘anything from fear of success to or just a bad habit’ (Manuel, Martha, 2006).

Dependency Indigenous entrepreneurial process

For thousands of years Native people were a part of the local and regional economy. Yet over the last 100 years Natives have been marginalized and denied their right to provide for themselves and their families.

If you go back 100 years in our territory you find a sustainable economy, a trading people who did business with people to the north and to the south. But the conditions after contact and the takeover of our affairs by the Indian Agent soon led to complete dependence on the Indian Agent office in nearby Vernon…

Our major weakness…is all the leftover dysfunction from our colonial past – the control exerted over us by the Indian Act, the administration of our affairs by the D.I.A., family breakdown, the cycle of welfare, the victimization syndrome, the dependency syndrome are still with us today. We are like a Third World country trying to emerge from a colonial past (Chief Louis).

Purpose of interest
Land Indigenous entrepreneurial process

So it is really more a matter of making sure that you release the capital that has been for so long, what is the terminology? Trapped capital. You know the fact that it is capital for First Nations (the land) is basically burdened with DIA…Nobody goes by without talking about the escalating real estate values in this country and how land prices have been going up 20, 25, 35% or more annually. And here (on-reserve) real estate gets locked and its not allowed to have the same leveraging effect or the same opportunities for being able to enjoy that elevation in value (Chris Scott, 2005).

Culture Indigenous entrepreneurial process

…when people come here (Inkameep Canyon Golf Course) they are going to know that they are on a First Nations golf course. And, yeah, we may lose some customers over it but I would rather have a company that breaks even and showcases First Nation heritage… you know you are in a First Nations business, than have a business that says you have a lot of money but you have sold out and you have nothing there to identify that you are in a First Nations business (Louis 2005).

Culture Indigenous entrepreneurial process

…I would rather have a company that loses money but still has the ability to stay open but has the majority or all First Nation employment, than have a company that makes a lot of money yet has very little or no First Nation employment…To me I would put a company at the bottom of the list that doesn’t have the majority or all First Nation employment as opposed to one that is making money with no native employment (Louis 2005).


Findings Indigenous entrepreneurial process

The intersection of first nations systems and the western world
The intersection of First Nations systems and the western world

Western world economic, legal, social political systems

First Nations Systems

Purpose of interest

Saskatoon Tribal Council world

Political & Corporate Structure

* STC Investments Ltd Partnership as represented by STC Investments Corporation

Treaty Assembly

Saskatoon Tribal Council

Is the 7 STC FN Chiefs who also are the Board of Directors for each Corporation


*First Alliance Construction Solutions Ltd Partnership as represented by First Alliance Construction Solutions Corp STC Investments LP owns 30%


Tribal Chief

Vice Chief

*STC Casino Holdings Ltd Partnership as represented by STC Casino Holdings Corp.

SDC Development Corporation

Saskatoon Tribal Council Inc.

Cress Housing Corporation

STC Urban First Nations Services Inc.

STC Health & Family Services Inc.

Cattail Holdings Ltd. (Partnership with Muskeg Lake) SDCDC owns 40%

* Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation

*Affiliated with STC First Nations – separate Board of Directors

Purpose of interest

Kinistin First Nation world

Whitecap Dakota First Nation

One Arrow First Nation

Assembly of Nations

C & C, Elders, Senators, TC, TVC

Government House

Mistawasis First Nation

Muskeg Lake Cree Nation

Muskoday First Nation

Yellow Quill First Nation

Purpose of interest

Membership of the seven world

STC First Nations

Senators, Elders, Veterans

Assembly of Nations

Legislative Authority

Lead Political Body representing Seven Nations AND

Lead Governance Body – oversees all operations at a strategic level

Tribal Chief

Chief’s Council

Vice Chief

STC Holding Co.

Board of Directors of STC Entities (structure yet to be determined)


Organizational values
Organizational Values world

  • Cree;

    • Askeew Pim Atchi howin (make a living in a good way);

    • Wah kooh toowin (laws of familial relationships and the respective duties and responsibilities);

    • Meyo Weecheh towin (principles of good relations);

    • Wi Taski Win (living together on the land in harmony)

Purpose of interest