A Tribal College Model for Entrepreneurship Camp Indian Youth
Guide Description: The presenters will describe the model developed in 2008 for an entrepreneurship summer camp on the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College campus for high school Indian youth. Students participated in exercises and activities that integrated American Indian culture and values with basic entrepreneurial skill development.
Full Description: Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC) in northern Minnesota hosted its' first Entrepreneurship Camp for high school American Indian youth in 2008. The program integrated both Ojibwe culture and language into core business skills. Students never exposed to business before developed elevator pitches, created imaginary products to market and sell, learned the basics of entrepreneurship, and created individual American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL) Chapters for their home high schools. Staff included business faculty, student support staff, and FDLTCC business students who run a successful AIBL Chapter at FDLTCC that manages two successful on campus businesses. This fundamental exposure for high school students with no business experience is a model that can be easily replicated. The camp serves as a form of outreach that is indispensable to the recruitment and retention of students who are typically underrepresented in business programs in college. As a result of the summer program, a manual of culturally specific activities and lessons is in development. This manual will allow for the replication of such a camp on other college campuses by giving the “how to” strategies needed to be successful. Presenters will share both the model of the program, and a draft of the manual.
Dr. Jean E. Ness, Project Director, University of Minnesota, MN
Bryan Jon Maciewski, Business Faculty, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, MN