The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) has given Ken Coates its 2017 Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations for “his deep understanding of past and present realities surrounding Indigenous peoples, together with his compelling ideas about Canada’s future,” according to a CCAB news release.
Ken Coates is truly an outstanding advocate for Indigenous peoples,” said JP Gladu, the group’s president and CEO. “His academic insights on Indigenous issues are helping shape industry and government approaches to building sustainable business relations with Indigenous peoples. His wealth of knowledge informs and enriches all Canadians.”
Coates is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at University of Saskatchewan, and is a Munk Senior Fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. In 2015, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is well versed in the development of considered policy which directly connects rural, remote and northern communities and regions with universities, governments, and business in responding creatively to global opportunities.
“As an academic and public commentator, I have been impressed for years with the commercial and entrepreneurial spirit that has re-emerged in Indigenous communities across Canada,” said Coates. “It is an enormous honour to be recognized by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, the flag-bearer for this remarkable and sustained capacity and wealth-building enterprise, for my work in encouraging collaborations and partnerships between the private sector, government, and Indigenous communities.”
Coates has worked with Indigenous peoples and organizations and with government agencies responsible for Aboriginal affairs across Canada and in New Zealand, Norway and Australia. He has also assisted with land claims research and participated in a variety of national and international collaborations, including serving on the Research Advisory Committee of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.
The Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations recognizes an individual — Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal —who has contributed, through professional and voluntary commitments, to building bridges between Aboriginal peoples and Canadian society, making a substantial impact across all sectors, socially, culturally, and politically. It highlights the efforts of people who have been ambassadors in working with Aboriginal peoples and communities.