Indigi-X – Virtual Exchange for Indigenous Professionals

August 24, 2020

Indigi-X – Virtual Exchange for Indigenous Professionals

Indigenous nations around the world have had to overcome numerous challenges to be recognised as meaningful participants in commerce. 

Indigi-X was established to facilitate the connection of indigenous professionals internationally, to encourage collaboration and economic growth.  At the beginning of 2020 Chris Karamea Insley (Chairman – Te Taumata ) and Raylene Whitford (Director – Canative Energy ) came together to create an exchange between indigenous professionals in New Zealand and Canada.

With the onset of COVID-19 and the Level 4 lockdown, Chris and Raylene decided to move the programme to a virtual exhange via zoom, to ensure it could still go ahead.

Over a period of four weeks, 22 candidates from Canada and New Zealand met to discuss relevant issues pertaining to trade.  The participants broke out into smaller groups and chose a topic to explore in depth, ranging from e-commerce to procrument, clean energy to fisheries rights. 

The programme concluded with a 10 minute presentation[AD5]  from each group to highlight the issue, provide evidence of need, a high level budget and specific recommendations for government to implement. 

A panel of industry experts and government ministers attended the presentations including Hon. Nanaia Mahuta – Minister of Māori Development and Associate Minister for Trade & Export Growth (Aotearoa) and Hon. Carolyn Bennett – Associate Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations (Canada).

Aroha Dorset – Commercial Manager for Te Arawa Fisheries, was a participant in the programme.  “I was honored to be a part of such an important kaupapa centred on finding indigenous solutions for indigenous peoples.  As part of an all wāhine group, we sought to understand and explore the topic of ‘Indigenous to Indigenous post COVID e-conomies: Mastering our virtual trade winds through e-commerce and digital enablement’.” 

“At Te Arawa Fisheries we are determined to grow our people and our digital capabilities as an organisation.  Indigi-X ticks both of these boxes for us in a uniquely Māori context.  Out of 11 Aotearoa participants, half have have Te Arawa connections.

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