Indigenous Innovation Summit

You are here

7 November, 2016 to 9 November, 2016

Indigenous Innovation SummitA first of its kind, national-level innovation summit designed by and for Indigenous people. It brings together Canada’s leading social innovators, entrepreneurs and Indigenous leaders for a truly transformative event.

The Indigenous Innovation Summit is a partnership between the National Association of Friendship Centres and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. By bringing together leaders in Indigenous social innovation from around Canada, they are sharing learnings, unlocking new ideas, building new fields of innovation. The panels cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Intergenerational Innovation
  • Social Finance
  • Indigenous Innovations
  • Reconciliation and Innovative Arts Partnerships
  • Millennial Innovation

The Summit was created with "field-building" intent, an idea the organizers believe is crucial to the success of social innovation and enterprise in Indigenous communities. The Summit helps connect fragmented players in social innovation, strengthens existing networks and creates new connections.

Register for the Indigenous Innovation Summit

The First Summit has Already Produced some Exciting Partnerships and Projects:

  • World Wide Hearing partnered with the Montreal Fluency Centre in a joint pilot project to screen children for hearing loss in Cree communities in Northern Quebec;
  • Several speakers from the Summit pooled their honoraria and put it towards Siem Lelum, an Indigenous affordable housing initiative in Victoria, BC;
  • Indspire is working with Ma Mawi Chi Itata on a Nurturing Capacity, connecting researchers with Ma Mawi’s Aboriginal Head Start Program;
  • The creation of an Indigenous Innovation Demonstration Fund (IIDF), a first of its kind funding program that will unlock much-needed capital for early-stage, high-potential Indigenous social innovation and enterprises.

In Edmonton, the Summit hopes to move even closer toward the goal of building an organized community around Indigenous social innovation. The Summit’s unique, participatory format enables attendees to actively engage in their learning, tease out best practices, and improve cooperation across the emerging area of social innovation.

Learn more about the Indigenous Innovation Summit


Joseph BoydenJoseph Boyden’s award-winning writing career has had a strong focus on the historical and contemporary experience of First Nations peoples. He is best known for his books Three Day Road, Through Black Spruce, which won the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and The Orenda, which was named the winner of CBC Radio’s Canada Reads 2014. Joseph’s work reflects the perils and inner strengths of marginalized groups.

Tomson HighwayTomson Highway is the proud son of legendary caribou hunter and world championship dogsled racer, Joe Highway, and artist-in-her-own-right (as bead-worker and quilt-maker extraordinaire), Pelagie Highway. A full-blood Cree, he is a registered member of the Barren Lands First Nation, the village for which is called Brochet (pronounced "Bro-shay") and which village is located in northern Manitoba where it meets Saskatchewan and what is now called Nunavut. Today, he writes novels, plays, and music for a living.

More to be confirmed

Shaw Centre
Edmonton  Alberta
Entrepreneurship & Business Development
First Nations, Inuit and Métis
Social Economy & Social Enterprise