Indigenous Business Studies (INBU) 201

Introduction to Indigenous Business (Revision 1)

INBU 201

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with print textbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies
(Business and Administrative Studies)

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Business

INBU 201 has a Challenge for Credit option.

Check availability

**Note: INBU 201 is currently open to Aboriginal Finance Officers Association members only.
INBU 201 has been developed with the support of the CPA Education Foundation’s No Limits Initiative.


This course is designed to teach students the structure of Indigenous businesses in Canada and the community environment in which they operate.

The course will introduce fundamental business topics (or functions), including accounting, finance, management, and marketing. INBU 201 also covers economic, cultural, political, and legal (all from a Canadian perspective) business environments, as well as ethics, social responsibility, business types, and entrepreneurship. Students will develop a relevant vocabulary and understand fundamental concepts from disciplines such as economics.

INBU 201 exposes students to all the primary business topics in just one course. Thus, students will obtain an overview of the study of business, specifically from an Indigenous perspective, and will be introduced to management and marketing. The course also introduces many additional business topics, such as entrepreneurship, corporate responsibility, and Indigenous economic development.

This knowledge can be used to inform the selection of subsequent business courses or simply to understand modern Canadian business and business-related articles from newspapers, magazines, and other media.

Important notice: Athabasca University recognizes that this course deals with sensitive topics that might trigger challenging emotional issues for some students. Students are reminded that they must participate within their own capabilities and limits. Students may discuss with the course professor to find support for their mental wellness. Neither the professor nor Athabasca University is responsible for any personal problems that should arise during the participation in this course.


Part 1: Introducing the Contemporary Indigenous Business World

  • Lesson 1: Pre-Contact Economies and the Fur Trade
  • Lesson 2: Land and Indigenous Business Development Canada
  • Lesson 3: Leadership and Management
  • Lesson 4: Entrepreneurship
  • Lesson 5: Strategic Alliances, Partnerships, and Joint Ventures

Part 2: Navigating Indigenous Business

  • Lesson 6: Governance, Law, and Policy
  • Lesson 7: An Introduction to Taxation
  • Lesson 8: Finance and Banking
  • Lesson 9: Demographics

Part 3: Principles of Marketing

  • Lesson 10: Marketing—Creating and Capturing Customer Value
  • Lesson 11: Marketing Indigenous Contexts
  • Lesson 12: Pricing—Understanding and Capturing Customer Value
  • Lesson 13: Communicating Customer Value—Advertising and Public Relations

Part 4: Managing Operations and Information

  • Lesson 14: Overcoming Barriers to Entry in Commercial Fisheries
  • Lesson 15: Aboriginal Communities and Mining

Part 5: Managing Indigenous Issues

  • Lesson 16: Treaties and Land Claims in Canada


Your final grade in INBU 201 is determined by a weighted average of the grades you receive on four written assignments and a final exam. To receive credit for INBU 201, you must achieve a minimum grade of 50 percent on the final exam and an overall grade of D (50 percent) or better for the entire course.

The weightings for each assignment and the exam are as follows:

Activity Weighting When to Complete
Assignment 1 15% of final grade After Lesson 3
Assignment 2 20% of final grade After Lesson 6
Assignment 3 15% of final grade After Lesson 9
Assignment 4 20% of final grade After Lesson 13
Final Exam 30% of final grade After Lesson 16
Total 100%  

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

Course Materials

Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.


Registration in this course includes a print textbook.

Brown, K. G., Doucette, M. B., & Tulk, J. E. (Eds.). (2016). Indigenous business in Canada: Principles and practices. Cape Breton University Press.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the INBU 201 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

Online Exam

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, March 10, 2020.