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


INDIGI-X was created to facilitate the connection of Indigenous Professionals internationally, to encourage collaboration and economic growth.

The program provides Indigenous delegates from Canada and New Zealand with the opportunity to work alongside other international Indigenous professionals, as well as exposure to government officials and industry executives.

“The High Commission is pleased to be part of this initiative to bring together indigenous professionals. 

You have my personal commitment to the project.”


HE Martin Harvey, New Zealand High Commissioner to Canada


The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business estimates Indigenous businesses are growing 10% faster than non-Indigenous businesses and project the adoption of UNDRIP in the province of British Columbia alone will contribute over CAD 100 billion in growth to the Canadian economy.


Māori currently own a significant proportion of assets in the primary sectors: 50% of the fishing quota, 40% of forestry, 30% lamb production, 30% of sheep and beef production, 10% dairy production and 10% in kiwifruit production.  

It is estimated the value of the Māori asset base is more than $NZ 50 billion

“The High Commission of Canada is pleased to see the first edition of Indigi-X bring together Indigenous leaders from both sides of the Pacific. We look forward to working with all partners to expand this exchange over the coming years.”

Nicolas Sabourin, Acting High Commissioner of Canada to New Zealand


Program Overview:

The program will take place via Zoom for 1 - 2 hours every week for a period of four weeks.  Meetings are held on weekends (Saturday afternoons in Canada and Sunday mornings in New Zealand) so as to not interfere with work schedules.  The session facilitators will be Raylene Whitford and Chris Karamea Insley as sponsors from Canada and New Zealand.

The meetings are structured to facilitate connections between the professionals in both countries.  Participants will be invited to form groups of 3 or 4 and develop a response to an issue which is related to commerce, such as:

“What are some of the key similarities and differences in the path of Indigenous economic growth in both countries?  What learnings can be shared?”

“What opportunities has the pandemic presented for Indigenous communities and commerce?”

“What messages can we share with industry and government in relation to the importance of Indigenous participation in commerce?”

“What can we do to support the development of the next generation of Indigenous Professionals?”

A series of reports highlighting the key messages and recommendations will be created by each of the working groups.  A formal report will be drafted after the final presentations during week 4 and distributed to industry and government.

The inaugural cohort began on 26 / 27 June 2020 and the final presentations were held on the 17 / 18 July 2020.

The date of the next cohort is TBA - please subscribe to our mailing list to be informed of program developments.

"INDIGI-X is an opportunity for Indigenous Professionals to connect and demonstrate that collectively we can solve real issues affecting our Nations today"

- Chris Karamea Insley, 

CEO Te Arawa Fisheries, NZ


Program Delegates:

All virtual exchange delegates must be Indigenous and have at least five years of professional experience.  All industry backgrounds will be considered. 

Candidates can indicate their interest in joining the program by sending an email to with a brief background, CV and indication of what they hope to achieve by joining the program.

There is no cost to participate in the virtual exchange, however, we do ask that delegates commit to attending all four sessions of the program.

Applications for the next cohort (date TBA) are now open.  Please subscribe to our mailing list for more information.


Learn more about our inaugural cohort in the June 2020 Welcome Handbook.

June 2020 Welcome Handbook



Our inaugural cohort published our final report on September 9th, 2020.

Download a copy of it here: 




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