The social innovation ecosystem still doesn’t understand Indigenous innovation. This project is working to close the gap.

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples’ Wìdjìwàgan project runs online courses for Indigenous innovators and settler ecosystem supporters

Why It Matters

The rate of new businesses in Indigenous communities is growing at five times the rate of non-Indigenous entrepreneurship. The size of the Indigenous business economy is expected to grow from $30 billion to $100 billion by 2025. If impact investors want in, they need a much deeper understanding of what makes up Indigenous innovation.

This story is in partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). 

What you know as social innovation might actually be Indigenous innovation. 

‘Social innovation’ is a Western term for how Indigenous people have always built business,” reads the homepage of a Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) project called Wìdjìwàgan. 

Molly Damiani, CAP’s manager of social innovation explains: “So much of social innovation is inherent in many Indigenous nations in Canada and around the world. “There are so many characteristics that align with traditional ways of knowing and being and doing…It’s upsetting to see it being misappropriated as a non-Indigenous activity.”

Funded as a partner of the federal government’s Investment Readiness Program, Wìdjìwàgan runs three online courses aimed at clearing up

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