Community event to honour Indigenous business leader

Entrepreneur and consultant Karen MacKenzie will share insight into how she incorporates traditional knowledge of Indigenous ways into the workplace when she’s honoured during Brock University’s third annual Indigenous Leader Speaker Series.

Taking place on National Indigenous Peoples Day, Wednesday, June 21 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., the online event is a partnership between Brock’s Indigenous Engagement Office and the Goodman School of Business.

MacKenzie is the co-founder and president of MacKintosh Canada, an Indigenous-owned, international consulting company, as well as co-founder of PeopleBest Canada, an artificial intelligence company that looks at what makes success happen inside people, teams and organizations.

She is passionate about advocacy work on Indigenization and decolonization.

“The first step on the path of decolonization is to begin thinking and acting with kindness and gratitude,” MacKenzie says. “These practices lead to good relationships built on trust and respect. Relationships are the foundation of Indigenous business practices based on the notion of abundance leading to prosperity for all.”

MacKenzie will be joined in conversation at the event by Robyn Bourgeois, Brock’s Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement. Bourgeois says MacKenzie is a shining example of Indigenous excellence.

“In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, she has taught others how to do so also,” Bourgeois says. “She has advised governments and organizations about Indigenization and decolonization. Perhaps most importantly, she has formally and informally mentored so many Indigenous women, myself included, on how to be strong matriarchal leaders.”

For the Goodman School of Business, this event is an opportunity to help amplify the voices of Indigenous business leaders, and to hear from a leader with significant experience developing people, communities and organizations, says Dean Barry Wright.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students and community to hear directly from a leader who has significant experience developing contemporary workplaces,” Wright says. “Karen MacKenzie’s value of authentic co-creation of the future, through creating spaces for all voices to be heard in open, respectful manners, is an example for all leaders.”

MacKenzie is a proud Cree-Métis woman who earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Saint Mary’s University and Master of Business Administration from Dalhousie University. She is an advocate for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and a senior advisor and mentor to the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership, Coady Institute at St. Francis Xavier University.

This is the third-annual Indigenous Leader Speaker Series, which is supported by the D.G. Willmot Foundation and is part of the D.G. Willmot Leaders Series. Previous honourees include Mallory Yawnghwe, founder and CEO of Indigenous Box, and Jenn Harper, founder of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics Inc.

To receive a link to the free online community event, register through the Indigenous Leader Speaker Series website.

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