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WORLD SUMMIT OF INDIGENOUS ENTREPRENEURS
WORLD TRADE UNIVERSITY GLOBAL SECRETARIATE
INSTITUTE FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, CANADA

Held on August 18, 19 and 20, 2003
In Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Canterbury students attend the First World Summit of Indigenous Entrepreneurs

Published by the Communications and Development Department

17 October 2003


Two Canterbury University students, Trina Taupo and Solomon Rahui, were among 12 Maori representatives invited to attend the recent World Summit of Indigenous Entrepreneurs (WSIE) in Toronto, Canada.

Trina and Solomon were part of a six-person delegation from the group Nga Pukenga Hou, which is a nationwide, student-based organisation. Nga Pukenga Hou members are in the preliminary stages of establishing a consultancy business “to explorefs, develop and implement indigenous approaches to entrepreneurial enterprises” in New Zealand.

Facilitated by the World Trade University and the Institute for Leadership Development, the WSIE was the first conference of its kind. The Summit was held in honour of the United Nations Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, and indigenous people from 38 countries around the world participated.

Both Trina and Solomon received Global Indigenous Entrepreneur Fellowship Awards to attend the Summit.

Trina said the Summit helped them understand how the exchange of business ideas could work at an international level. They hope what they learned will help Nga Pukenga Hou to “up-skill and encourage the Maori community to take charge of their own interests".

The Summit was also an opportunity for the members of Nga Pukenga Hou to identify people and resources that might help them establish their business. Most of the group are currently students, but they “want to be equipped with as much knowledge as possible” once they have finished their degrees.

“The pivotal part of the Summit was the ability to interact with other indigenous cultures around the world and to see how they are dealing with the same issues in starting a business,” said Trina.

She said she enjoyed meeting so many people from various backgrounds, although she wished the Summit had addressed to a greater extent how indigenous culture fits into business.

Since the students returned from Canada, they have already had contact with others from the Summit. Trina said she had spoken with Canadian government officials to exchange ideas on how they might work together on indigenous issues.

Trina and Solomon also attended another conference, Te Huinga Roia or the National Maori Law Conference, on their way back from Canada. Trina described this conference as a “good way to recharge your batteries", since it was a way for Maori students to network and gain support from each other.

Trina (Tainui, Nga Puhi) is currently an MA student in the Sociology Department working with the “Constructive Conversations” research group. Her thesis focuses on whether common ground can be found between traditional Maori knowledge and Western science on issues such as genetic testing.

Solomon (Tuhoe, Ngai Tahu) is an undergraduate majoring in Maori and political science. He is passionate about music and Maoritanga, and is a tutor for Continuing Education Maori courses.