Dr. Rick Colbourne (Anishinaabe, an Algonquin from the Mattawa First Nation) is Assistant Professor, Indigenous Leadership and Management. Dr. Colbourne brings a highly relevant and unique program that includes a rich overlay of work looking at Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development, Indigenous governance and leadership, hybrid ventures, entrepreneurial ecosystems, as well as Leadership Exchange Programs.
Dr. Colbourne moved from British Columbia where he worked with communities on facilitating Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development. Formerly the Assistant Dean, Indigenous Business and Director of Ch’nook, he moved to Ottawa to be part of the Sprott School because he wants to contribute back to Algonquin communities in Ontario and Quebec. Dr. Colbourne aims to bridge Indigenous and Western knowledge systems to develop Indigenous models of entrepreneurship and economic development based on Indigenous world views, ways of knowing, and ways of being. Dr. Colbourne knows that it is important to work directly with communities and practitioners and to co-create and co-generate research and initiatives that involves talking and staying engaged with communities so they are an integral part of shaping the direction of research, business, and even act as co-authors on journal articles. Colbourne knows that Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development are more successful when the rights of Indigenous peoples are addressed and when these initiatives are led by or engage Indigenous communities.
Dr. Colbourne is developing new business courses at Sprott that draw on Indigenous understandings and perspectives that are gaining much interest from students, particularly international students. He has also made numerous contributions in academia and industry with Indigenous-led research and has earned numerous awards for his teaching and research excellence, including the recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship in 2016 as the inaugural Visiting Research Chair in Indigenous Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona, Indian Studies program.