Ptarmigan Charitable Foundation to fund $1.4M MRU Chair in Indigenous Business and Economic Development Program
April 20, 2022
The Ptarmigan Charitable Foundation is donating $1.4 million to fund a chair in a new Indigenous Business and Economic Development (IBED) concentration that is unique in Canada at the undergraduate level. Mount Royal University’s Bissett School of Business and Siksika Nation’s Old Sun Community College are working together to advance Indigenous business leaders with the new program.
“We sincerely thank Ptarmigan Charitable Foundation for this significant donation. The knowledge the students will gain through participation in the IBED concentration will be invaluable and will begin a ripple effect for generations to come,” said Dr. Tim Rahilly, PhD, MRU president and vice-chancellor.
Through the IBED, Indigenous students will immerse themselves in a business and management education designed specifically for them. Examples include land-based learning, Indigenous ways of knowing, elders as co-instructors and co-operative education placements with Indigenous bands or organizations.
“All of my family have had the opportunity for a very good education, which has opened up lots of options to them,” said J. Richard Bird, PhD, President of the Ptarmigan Charitable Foundation, the Bird family’s foundation for philanthropy that emphasizes Indigenous education, fitness programs and sports, as well as social services for women and children and international social services. A former member of the MRU Foundation Board of Directors, Bird’s commitment to education led him to achieve a doctorate from the University of Toronto. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.
“We really feel that education is a huge enabler for living a fulfilling life, giving people more of a foundation on which to build regardless of what path they want to take. Education provides more ways to pursue those choices.”
Read more about the IBED Program and donation from the Ptarmigan Charitable Foundation.
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