Sprott School of Business appoints new assistant dean to lead Indigenous programs

Rick Colbourne
Rick Colbourne has been appointed the assistant dean of equity and inclusive communities at the Sprott School of Business. Photo courtesy Carleton University

Carleton University has chosen an award-winning academic to help create new business programs that promote entrepreneurship and economic development in Indigenous communities.

Rick Colbourne, an assistant professor at Carleton’s Sprott School of Business, has been appointed the school’s assistant dean of equity and inclusive communities for a two-year term beginning July 1. 

The school says Colbourne, an Algonquin from the Mattawa First Nation, will focus on “building new and innovative partnerships with Indigenous communities in education, entrepreneurship and economic development.”

In a statement, Colbourne says he will work with Indigenous industry and academic partners to launch research and education initiatives that “promote Indigenous business, management and entrepreneurial capacity building that will foster sovereignty, self-determination and socioeconomic health and well-being of Indigenous communities across Canada and globally.”

A graduate of the University of Cambridge, Colbourne is also an instructor in the executive MBA program at the Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. He previously taught and developed courses for the University of Northern British Columbia’s MBA program.

In 2016, Colbourne received a Fulbright Fellowship as visiting research chair in Indigenous Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona’s American Indian Studies program. Since coming to Sprott last July, Colbourne has been developing new business courses that draw on Indigenous understanding and perspectives.

“Rick has vast experience and great ideas to bring to this role,” Sprott dean Dana Brown said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Rick and across the faculty on exciting new initiatives aimed at fostering a more inclusive, caring and equitable world.”