Mount Currie, British Columbia

Mount Currie with fog
Photo by Dave Steers.

Fundamentals of Community-Based Business for Indigenous Communities and Beyond

Project Lead: Amanda Walker, Capilano University


Mount Currie is a First Nation reserve located two and half hours north of Vancouver. Mount Currie is currently home to 1300 Lil’wat. There is a need among the Lil’wat to create small business/self-employment opportunities. With an 18 percent unemployment rate (2016 Census), and few employment opportunities there, individuals leave their community for work. While employment opportunities exist in Pemberton (17 km) and Whistler (50 km), adequate safe transportation is a significant barrier. Individuals with low literacy and numeracy levels often cycle through low wage jobs without opportunities for advancement. Self-employment creates opportunities for flexible schedules to balance multi-generational family obligations and attending community and ceremonial events.

This project supported the participants’ goals for self-employment, working within the community, building capacity within the Nation, having flexible schedules to balance multi-generational family obligations, and participating in employment that grows and gives back to the community. The project took place at the Ts’zil Learning Centre and worked with individuals who have a home business or a desire to create a business.

Through an Indigenous lens, the project worked with the whole person. It included strategies for dealing with stress and anxiety and supported participants’ learning readiness by developing their literacy, numeracy and digital skills, alongside engagement in entrepreneurial training.

Participants gained skills to start small businesses or ladder into high-level entrepreneurship or small business programs.


  • This beta-test site has developed and shared curricula for their training delivery.
  • This project has been selected to continue to the Pilot Test phase of this project.


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