July 18, 2022

Aurora College to investigate possible Indigenous Business Centre of Excellence

Yellowknife, NT – The Future Skills Centre is providing Aurora College with $285,000 to undertake a feasibility study to look at establishing an Indigenous Centre of Excellence (ICBE).

The study will look at other Canadian and Indigenous business centre models and will include a scan of current Indigenous businesses, the needs, opportunities and gaps in the NWT’s 33 communities.

Aurora College plans to engage with Indigenous governments, Indigenous corporate entities, northern industry organizations and other key stakeholders in a variety of ways.

An Indigenous Centre for Business Excellence could help Indigenous entrepreneurs with business start-up or expansion, partnerships and planning; help ensure Indigenous entrepreneurs have access to business support and advice; and provide support and advice about small business development and joint venture developments. It might also assist with developing core skills for Indigenous businesses to succeed, such as governance, risk management, financial management and best practices.

The Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre is supporting this initiative as part of its skills innovation in northern Canada, and is an example of the types of private and public co-investment partnerships that will support the transformation of Aurora College into a polytechnic university, as well as support the new polytechnic’s long-term growth and development.


“Supporting the growth and sustainability of northern, Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses will be a priority of the new polytechnic university. A vibrant, healthy northern economy and labour market will provide employment and leadership opportunities for the polytechnic’s graduates, as well as the potential for related research and innovation.”

– Dr. Glenda VardyDell, President, Aurora College

“We need to ensure that everyone has the skills and opportunities to contribute and thrive in the future economy. Indigenous entrepreneurs and professionals play a key role in our workforce, and this initiative lays important groundwork for further skills innovation and opportunity.”

– Pedro Barata, Executive Director, Future Skills Centre.

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Aurora College delivers academic upgrading, trades and industrial training, certificate, diploma and degree programs to more than 3,000 full and part-time students at three campuses, 21 Community Learning Centres and other community sites in the Northwest Territories. Community-centred post-secondary programs reflect Northern culture and the needs of the Northern labour market. Aurora College’s research division, Aurora Research Institute, conducts, supports, and licenses research in the NWT. Research centres are located in in Inuvik, Yellowknife and Fort Smith.

For more information, please contact:

Jayne Murray                                                                           

Manager, Communications & College Relations 

Aurora College                                                             

Phone: 867-872-7021                                                   

Email: jmurray@auroracollege.nt.ca