The logo created by FNEE is rooted in the rich history of the continent’s Indigenous peoples and the influence they have had on its development. In addition, the logo is evocative of the spirit of adventure and prosperity that has long been associated with these peoples.

The chosen image of a canoe moving forward in the water is meant to be engaging and resonant. It is a meaningful symbol to all Indigenous peoples, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit, who for centuries have used the canoe as an instrument to explore the continent.

“The canoe was a way to travel to other nations and build connections, communicate and trade with them,” explains Manon Jeannotte, FNEE co-initiator and ambassador.

The canoe is to credit for building trade routes that subsequently facilitated the flow of goods when Europeans arrived on the continent. In fact, many of today’s water routes were originally developed by Indigenous peoples. The canoe therefore represents this understanding of the land, the network of connections and trade, and the intersection of these two worlds.



“We can’t see anyone in the canoe, but we know there are two entities heading toward the horizon, the future: First Nations and civil society, represented by HEC Montréal,” says Ken Rock, FNEE co-initiator and ambassador.

This partnership is the basis of the logo’s design, which was jointly created by both groups. “It illustrates the objective of planning out our future together and working collaboratively on a path to tomorrow,” he added.

The navigation dynamic represents a motion forward as well as ongoing perseverance. “We can compare this vessel that has been so vital to establishing trade routes with the school that is helping current and future First Nations leaders thrive economically and socially,” indicate both co-initiators.

According to Serge Lafrance, Adjunct Professor and Director, Executive Education HEC Montréal, “This partnership in First Nations’ prosperity is a natural one, given our mission to train management leaders so they can make a responsible contribution to the success of organizations and sustainable social development.”


The use of the ochre and blue palette by Métis artist Cindy Brown is no accident. Ochre on the horizon evokes both the sun and the earth, thereby representing First Nations. The blue of the water is HEC Montréal’s signature colour.

Both the journey and the destination are very meaningful. “The canoe is travelling along a path, encountering challenges and discoveries along the way,” say the co-initiators. They feel that this adventure we call life is brimming over with connections and lessons learned, as well as opportunities to share and interact.

Both see the logo as an invitation to get into the canoe and row toward a prosperous, positive and independent future. “The canoe’s movement and progress represent the recognition of an entire people, their values and their roots,” they conclude.