First Nations Executive Education (FNEE), propelled by Executive Education HEC Montréal, is based in Tio’tia:ke (Montreal), a historic gathering place for many First Nations, as well as an economic and strategic hub that is conducive to networking and learning.
Dialogue and interaction are a vital part of the educational approach embraced by FNEE and are integral to the quality of these training programs. A number of which are offered online and directly in First Nations communities in order to reach out to learners across the province.
Since the school’s launch in 2021, FNEE has travelled to four First Nations communities in Quebec to deliver on-site training, make in-person connections, contribute to the Indigenous economy by dealing with local businesses and First Nations artists and artisans, and tap into the invaluable ancestral knowledge of the elders at each stop.
The FNEE team and participants visited Wendake, home to the Huron-Wendat Nation, for three days of training in the spectacular Hôtel Musée des Premières Nations. This was followed by a trip to the Mi’kmaq community of Gesgapegiag. Learners had the honour of touring the Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n Wind Farm, which is 50% owned by the Listuguj, Gespeg and Gesgapegiag communities.
The next destination was Odanak, one of two Abenaki First Nations communities, where one of the training modules was carried out at Kiuna College, the only First Nations postsecondary institution in Quebec. Participants also visited several local establishments, including the Musée des Abénakis.
Last but not least, arrangements were made for the second module in the entrepreneurship program to take place in Uashat mak Mani-Utenam at the Musée Shaputuan.
These experiences make it possible to share perspectives and deepen relationships among First Nations. They provide real insight into the lives of professionals and leaders in First Nations communities. Drawing inspiration from the political and entrepreneurial cultures specific to each First Nation and each community is an effective way to foster socioeconomic development.
The visits also provide an enriching and enjoyable opportunity for learners to engage in meaningful conversations, expand their networks and forge strong ties between First Nations and communities.
In the coming months, FNEE plans to hold additional visits in other locations in Québec.