First Nations Executive Education celebrated its first anniversary last November 17 as a unique institution serving First Nations entrepreneurs, managers and elected officials.

For the occasion, more than a hundred participants and guests of honour gathered to highlight the past year’s pathway undertaken by FNEE. Among those present were Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador, Ian Lafrenière, Minister of Relations with First Nations and Inuit; Pascale Déry, Minister of Higher Education; Federico Pasin, Director of HEC Montréal; Serge Lafrance, Director of Executive Education HEC Montréal. Also among the guests were several Chiefs, Grand Chiefs, Vice-Chiefs, Board Chairs and managers of First Nations communities and organizations, representatives of First Nations partners, Hydro-Quebec, a founding member of FNEE, the Government of Quebec and BDC, a partner of FNEE’s entrepreneurship programs, whose presence does justice to the importance of the school as a catalyst for the empowerment and self-determination of First Nations.

During this colourful evening, participants were treated to the inspiring verses of Innu poet Maya Cousineau Mollen, whose performance was as brilliant as that of dancer Don Barnaby, accompanied by the powerful singing and traditional drums of the Buffalo Hat Singers.

Launched in November 2021, on the margins of the Great Economic Circle of Indigenous Peoples and Quebec, the First Nations Executive Education aims to train more than 1,000 First Nations leaders through short university certifications within 5 years. So far, this objective is well on its way to success!

This high-level school, propelled by Executive Education HEC Montréal, was thought-up and built from the ground up to be a school for and by First Nations, notably under the leadership of Manon Jeannotte, Director of FNEE and Ken Rock, Director of the FNEE’s Entrepreneurial Initiatives. Each FNEE training session is delivered by qualified Indigenous and non-Indigenous co-trainers whose diversity is its strength.

FNEE would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the people who made this adventure possible!