Hearing other Indigenous women talk about their personal journeys at the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business (CCAB) Indigenous Women in Leadership Forum really brought home leadership and Indigenous pride for Michelle Joseph-Shaw.
The fourth-year human resource management major from the Witset First Nation near Smithers, BC, is a three-time Ch’nook Scholar who firmly believes we all have a role to play in reconciliation and overcoming racism.
In October, Joseph-Shaw was invited to represent TRU Gaglardi at the forum in Vancouver, where she and other participants focused on exploring opportunities, inspiring ideas and celebrating successes — included a panel of seven Indigenous women leaders who shared their personal leadership journeys.
“CCAB’s Indigenous Women in Leadership Forum was definitely one to remember,” says Joseph-Shaw. “We actively engaged in purposeful networking. The panel of Indigenous women in leadership shared their inspirational journeys. The room was filled with powerful energy that was contagious. It truly empowered me and redirected my perspective.”
The Ch’nook Scholar program gives Indigenous post-secondary business students the tools and connections they need to succeed in their studies and careers.
Throughout her academic career, Joseph-Shaw has benefited as a Ch’nook Scholar by connecting with other Indigenous business students across Canada, particularly as Indigenous student representation within some schools may still be limited. At the CCAB conference, Joseph-Saw was able to reconnect with Ch’nook Scholars, building upon existing connections and growing her network.
Joseph-Shaw says TRU continuously supports her growth as an Indigenous business student and singles out Drs. Rhonda Dever and Scott Rankin for opening her eyes to opportunities in human resource management and for mentoring her along the way.
“Accompanying Michelle to the Indigenous Women in Leadership Forum was an incredible experience for many reasons,” says Dever. “Witnessing Michelle see herself within such a powerful panel of other Indigenous women, and to realize the applicability of theoretical course concepts learned here at TRU within the professional realm, was truly rewarding. I was honoured to help facilitate networking opportunities with industry stakeholders.”
For Joseph-Shaw, her experience at the CCAB forum positively highlighted that Indigenous people are thriving in business throughout BC. Through her dedication and actions, Joseph-Shaw is paving her way toward leadership. In doing so, she too portrays a positive and inspiring example for Indigenous young women interested in business.
As for Joseph-Shaw’s next step after TRU, Dever is confident in her path to success. “Michelle is a phenomenal student. I have no doubt that she will go on to do amazing things after graduation.”