|Students launch American Indian Business Leaders Chapter|
Several UND business students joined forces recently to re-establish a local chapter of the American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL), with the goal of encouraging Native American and other business students to develop and market their leadership skills, to understand business management, and to encourage minority participation in business and entrepreneurship programs at UND.
Organized in 1994 at the University of Montana-Missoula by Michelle Henderson, an Assiniboine Tribe member, AIBL emerged from Henderson's master's thesis, which noted a need voiced by many tribal leaders for educated, business-savvy members to assist with tribal economic development and management. She was the group's first director.
UND's AIBL chapter president is Courtney Davis, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and a native of Belcourt, N.D. Davis wants to see more Native Americans get a clear picture of the opportunities available to them in business, management, and entrepreneurship.
We have some great programs here to encourage American Indians professionally, such as Indians into Medicine (INMED), Recruitment/Retention of American Indians into Nursing (RAIN), and Indians into Psychology Doctoral Education (INPSYDE), notes Davis, whose father is an award-winning businessperson and entrepreneur on her home reservation. So along those lines, a big objective of ours is to encourage American Indians to become business leaders, both on and off the reservation.
Davis, a business management major in the College of Business and Public Administration (CoBPA), says opportunities abound for business and related majors at UND. So, Davis adds, it makes strong sense to encourage American Indians with organizations like AIBL to take advantage of those opportunities.
AIBL is co-advised by Keith Malaterre, a Belcourt, N.D., native and member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. Malaterre is program coordinator/recruiter at the UND American Indian Student Services, where the AIBL group holds its regular meetings. The other co-advisor is Patrick Schultz, assistant professor of management at COBPA.
AIBL's vice president is Sisseton, S.D., native Robert Shepherd, a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (formerly known as the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe), who is majoring in recreation and leisure services and minoring in business. The group's treasurer is MBA candidate Jared Davis, a member of Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Belcourt, N.D.; the secretary is Angeline Jeanotte, a pre-accountancy major, also from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa at Belcourt.
Membership in the American Indian Business Leaders UND chapter is free and open to all current UND students. For more information, contact Keith Malaterre, American Indian Student Services, 777-4292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.