The Social Innovation + Change Initiative is delighted to welcome Rob Stevenson, member of the Bear Clan from the Alderville First Nation and Founder of Medicine Wheel Natural Healing, and Patrick Tomlinson, 2015 Cheng Fellow and MC/MPA 2016, for an interactive conversation on building Indigenous sovereignty through for-profit social entrepreneurship.
The event will encompass three parts: A general overview of the treaty relationship between the Alderville First Nation and the British Crown; a presentation on the Medicine Wheel business model and the various businesses structured according to the model; and an interactive conversation between Rob, Patrick, and attendees on how Medicine Wheel can innovate further based on its current organizational design and goals.
This will be an interactive discussion and rely on participation from attendees.
Participants interested in becoming more familiar with Medicine Wheel Natural Healing, Indigenous sovereignty, and reconciliation in Canada are encouraged to visit the following websites:
- On Reconciliation in Canada (pp 10-50)
- On Medicine Wheel
- General information on historic and modern treaties between Indigenous peoples and the Crown in the Right of Canada
All are welcome to attend. This event will especially appeal to students who are deeply committed and interested in Indigenous Peoples’ rights, social innovation, and proximate leadership.
Rob Stevenson is a member of the Bear Clan from the Alderville First Nation in Ontario, Canada. Born into a family of successful entrepreneurs and political leaders, Rob started building businesses at a very young age. For the past two years, he has been dedicated to building a for-profit social enterprise whose primary goals are to improve Indigenous sovereignty and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. This company, Medicine Wheel Natural Healing, is a vertically integrated cannabis and hemp company which today boasts 45,000 paying members and a fully self-developed seed-to-sale supply chain. The Canadian Minister responsible for writing Canada’s cannabis laws and regulations regularly meets with Rob to assure that Indigenous communities across Canada can benefit from the burgeoning cannabis and hemp industries. And Rob is now working with his First Nation’s (and several other) Indigenous Band Council(s) to develop regulatory structures suited for Indigenous governments. Rob is a proud husband and father of two young boys who are almost as fluent as him in their Indigenous language, Ojibwa.
Patrick graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2016 (MC/MPA) and has since returned to Cambridge to pursue an MBA at MIT Sloan. For over 10 years, Patrick has worked with Indigenous communities across Canada supporting efforts at Indigenous sovereignty and reconciliation. As a lead negotiator on behalf of the Gwich’in First Nation, Patrick successfully negotiated a multi-party resource royalty sharing agreement among 7 First Nations and two levels of public government that still today represents the only agreement of its kind in Canada.