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“Indigenomics” Brings First Nations Perspective to a New Economy

21 November 2013

What can we learn from indigenous economies that prospered for thousands of years and what wisdom can we apply in solving modern crises? A regional event, Living the New Economy, will provide a platform for local changemakers to explore the possible impacts and opportunities of shifting our economic models. Indigenomics is a phrase coined by Carol Anne Hilton, a recognized leading First Nation’s business entrepreneur of Nuu chah nulth descent. She is currently authoring Indigenomics- the Emerging Global Power Shift. Carol Anne and her partner Ainjil Hunt received a BC Aboriginal Business Award this week.

Indigenomics is about understanding and exploring the Indigenous ways of being, the contrasts with modern economics and traditional systems and outlining characteristics of emerging ecological business models. Indigenomics is a modern expression of Indigenous existence. As we can see in Canada, the tension of this expression plays out daily through the legal and business relationship between First Nations, government and corporations. Indigenomics outlines the current and historical context, the shifting influences, the continuum of thought processes and lays out the invitation to participate in a new economy that includes Indigenous ways of being.

Indigenomicswelcomes you to an Indigenous worldview. It is a place to wonder, a means to converse on the ancient and modern. It brings to the forefront human values and practice. Indigenomics converges upon the Canadian context and the shifting influence of First Nations. It invites dialogue, and thought provoking insight into possibility of the Indigenous relationship both in Canada and beyond. It explores the pathway to the threshold of the indigenous relationship and modern economics. It calls on the commonality of the emerging new economy. It examines place based values as a starting point to understanding worldview.

Indigenomicsis about honoring the powerful thinking of Indigenous wisdom of local economy, relationship and human values in the modern context. Indigenomics questions the reality of current thinking while examining the pathway of where we have collectively come from and where we are going as humanity. Indigenomics likens the characteristics of gold rush thinking with modern economy. It examines how to build the characteristics of accountability and reciprocity. The time is now. The opportunity is here to influence reality of the new economy. Indigenomics asks what values will take us there? What can be learned along the way through seeking wisdom in new business models.

The Healing Cities Institute and EcoDesign Resource Society will co-host a seven-day event in Victoria, convening a regional community of social entrepreneurs, enterprises, aligned organizations and passionate citizens who are re-envisioning a more resilient and prosperous Vancouver Island.

With the support of Vancity as presenting sponsor, this week of events will energize and celebrate the people, institutions and collaborations that are bringing the New Economy to life on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The “New Economy” is an emerging global movement that focuses on re-localizing economic activity and linking business ideas to solving our most pressing social and environmental challenges. It also encompasses phenomena such as crowdfunding, worker co-operatives, collaborative consumption and community currencies.

Food security is a key area of concern on the Island and an important topic of November’s event – some of the 20 plus sessions will include starting a regional food hub, launching a provincial permaculture network, exploring succession planning for farmers and a developing a radical vision for re-vitalizing the downtown business landscape.

Healing Cities president, Nicole Moen, explains: “There is an astonishing convergence of influences in our region that are making the timing ripe for these ideas: a growing regional identity; economic uncertainty; increasing awareness of climate change; a re-democratization of society through technology; and increasing solidarity among disparate organizations to collaborate towards sustainable prosperity.”

The full seven days will take place at the Car Shop at the Roundhouse at Bayview Place. The event website is The program can be viewed here and tickets are available here.

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