Relationships are central to our culture
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Virtual exchanges are one of the pillars of INDIGI-X
Twice a year, we select up to 24 delegates from around the world to join our six-week virtual exchange program. We meet regularly for six weeks to connect, engage in ceremony, share the issues and challenges we face as Indigenous Professionals and identify opportunities to engage in international trade.
Who can apply?
We invite all Indigenous Professionals to join our program. Our inaugural exchange consisted of professionals from Canada and New Zealand, and in February 2021 included Fiji. In September 2022 we will invite Indigenous Professionals in Australia to join our exchange.
If you are not from any of these countries we still encourage you to apply! We review all applications submitted.
To join our virtual exchange all delegates must commit to attending all of the six planned meetings and actively contribute to the generation of the final report.
As part of the onboarding process, we publish a Welcome Handbook which will help you to get to know the others in your cohort before our first meeting. Once admitted to the program, you will be asked to submit a high-resolution photo and short bio (< 200 words) to be included in the handbook.
Take a look at the bios of our previous delegates here.
Your cohort of global Indigenous Professionals will meet each week via Zoom. We will open each meeting with a prayer and some words from our Elders.
The format of the meeting each week is slightly different, but you will be sent an agenda beforehand so you will know what to expect.
By the second week of the program, delegates will split themselves into groups of 3 - 5 to discuss a topic of mutual interest. These small groups will meet in breakout rooms to share knowledge and experiences, and discuss issues that are important to them.
This is where the real magic of INDIGI-X happens.
Through this informal but important platform for connection, similarities are discovered, as are differences, and learnings are quickly found that can be of great benefit to Indigenous well-being, development and commerce.
Each group will settle on a mutually agreed topic of interest and will outline the key issues, challenges and recommendations as a multi-national group of Indigenous Professionals.
We leave the topics of interest completely up to you. We know that government and industry often have their own agendas when engaging with Indigenous people, therefore we want to leave it up to you to come up with what your group is interested in and the recommendations you wish to put forward.
Previous groups have looked at subjects of e-commerce, clean energy, and fisheries - but the sky is the limit.
That is the magic of INDIGI-X.
After five weeks of weekly meetings, we will host a 2.5 hour session where all groups will have 20 minutes to present their work.
In the weeks leading up to the final presentations, we will work with you to identify the key stakeholders we should invite to the meeting. Past attendees have included Minister Nanaia Mahuta (former New Zealand Minister of Māori Development), Minster Carolyn Bennett (Canada’s former Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations), as well as a number of other government, industry and community members.
The Final Presentations are both a celebration of what the cohort was able to accomplish in the preceding five (short!) weeks as well as a demonstration of the power of Indigenous collaboration.
Many groups choose to arrange their own meetings, outside of the weekly group-wide ones. We encourage this, as to be honest, not only because there is a lot of work to do, but also because great friendships develop.
Feedback from our first cohort was that they felt energized, uplifted and an increased sense of pride in themselves and their communities. A deep sense of trust developed very quickly among members of the group and a number of long-term friendships and business relationships exist because of the program.
Hear some of the feedback we received from our alumni here.
Upon completion of the program, submission to the final report, and participation in our feedback sessions, an honorarium will be granted to each alumni of the program.
We know Indigenous Professionals are all too often expected to do additional work and provide insights for free. However, our time and are insights are valuable.
Therefore, INDIGI-X will ensure that our alumni are rewarded financially for the time and effort they dedicate to this important program.
Physical Exchanges - Coming Soon!
The INDIGI-X program was originally intended to host physical exchanges for Indigenous Professionals - however COVID put a stop to that!
We will launch a physical exchange part of our program as soon as it is safe to do so, and will give priority to our alumni when allocating spaces.
So, until we can all travel safely again, pour a cup of coffee, turn on our video camera, and connect with other Indigenous Professionals from around the world who are just like you.
Keen to join us on this exciting journey?