Indigenous Studies (INST) 440

Principles of Indigenous Business (Revision 1)

INST 440 course cover

Delivery Mode: Individualized study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None. There are no prerequisites for INST 440, but students are likely to find INST 203 or INST 205, or both, helpful.

Centre: Nukskahtowin

INST 440 is not available for challenge.

check availability


INST 440 – Principles of Indigenous Business is a three credit, senior level course that introduces major themes in the burgeoning field of Indigenous economic development. Students will visit the historical and contemporary issues of race, economics and culture, and will consider their impact on community development. This course presents many of the precepts of business planning, but tries not to lose sight of the fact that economic empowerment for Aboriginal peoples is rooted in history and affected by the duality of Western economics: a force that advanced one group on one hand, and marginalized Aboriginal peoples on the other.

Indigenous Studies 440 is divided into three parts. Part I considers the historical context for the contemporary Indigenous economic experience, and discusses the relationship between economic development and Aboriginal sovereignty. Part II addresses the start-up issues faced by Aboriginal entrepreneurs, and again considers the issues from the perspectives of the distinct cultural form of Indigenous communities. Part III addresses the management aspects of Indigenous businesses, including marketing, financial planning, taxation, human resource management, and evaluating and controlling the growth and structure of a business.


Part 1

  • Unit 1: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada
  • Unit 2: Economic Development and Aboriginal Sovereignty

Part II

  • Unit 3: Cultural Context and Case Studies
  • Unit 4: Business Ownership
  • Unit 5: Acquiring an Existing Business
  • Unit 6: The Business Plan

Part III

  • Unit 7: Marketing
  • Unit 8: Reporting, Planning and Taxation Issues
  • Unit 9: Aboriginal Business Operations
  • Unit 10: Control, Evaluation and Growth; Building Businesses, Building Nations


To receive credit for INST 440, you must achieve a mark of at least 50 percent on the final examination, and obtain a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 10%
Assignment 5 10%
Final Exam 50%
Total 100%

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

Course Materials


Anderson, R. (2002). Aboriginal entrepreneurship and business development. North York, ON: Captus.

Chiste, L. (Ed.). (1996). Aboriginal small business and entrepreneurship in Canada. North York, ON: Captus.

Other materials

The course materials include a study guide, student manual, and a book of readings.

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, Feb 20, 2009.