Call for Papers

Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship

2015 Special Issue

The Natural Resource Sector, Partnerships and Indigenous Entrepreneurship:  Theory, Policy and Practice

Guest Editors:

Bob Kayseas (First Nations University of Canada)

Dennis Foley (University of Newcastle)

Wanda Wuttunee (University of Manitoba)


Reason for the special issue

Indigenous communities are being impacted by the development of natural resources in a variety of ways. Some communities have chosen to pursue economic opportunities by forming alliances with governments and industry partners and/or through the formation of new ventures. Other communities choose to ‘opt out’ of natural resource development projects for reasons usually related to environmental impact concerns (Anderson, 1997; Anderson, et al., 2006).

For this special issue we seek theoretical and empirical work that advances our understanding of the multiple ways in which strategic alliances and partnerships between natural resource corporations, governments and Indigenous communities can be negotiated, formed, sustained and leveraged for the purposes of creating win/win value propositions that may have either a direct or indirect impact on the creation of wholly owned or joint new ventures.

Importance of the subject area

The creation of benefits that are broader than profits to industry and governments specifically within the context of natural resource developments is increasingly recognized as being key to gaining the requisite social licence needed by industry (Moroz et al., 2014). The challenges of the status quo by Indigenous peoples has led to a changing legal, political and social environment in which development occurs (Langton and Longbottom, 2012; Gallagher, 2012). This complex environment provides many opportunities to test, extend and contribute to existing theory as well as develop new theory that is context specific. Thus enquiry into and identification of the the intersection between Indigenous communities, governments and industry is an important step towards greater understanding of what works (and what doesn’t) with respect to various and oft conflicting goals.  We advocate that research should focus on the pathways that may lead to increased alignment among them.

Definitions of Indigenous peoples and overview of themes

For the purpose of this special issue, we utilize the United Nations Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous People’s definition of what constitutes an Indigenous person, nation or community:

Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them. They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal system. On an individual basis, an indigenous [sic – no capital ‘I’] person is one who belongs to these indigenous populations through self-identification as indigenous [group consciousness] and is recognized and accepted by these populations as one of its members [acceptance by the group] (United Nations, 2004, 2).

The term ‘Indigenous’ is descriptive of the people and culture being referenced. It implies a relationship to a specific piece of land developed over a period of time (McLeod, 2000, 28). For this reason it is also important to point out the different forms of colonialism that have been identified and pertain to the UN definition.  Sawyer and Gomez (2012) provide a set of four distinguishable forms: 1) setter colonial (Australia, NZ, USA, Canada, Argentina etc) 2) creolo/mestizo (mixed) colonialism (Peru and Bolivia that perhaps includes the plantation colonies like Barbados), 3) imperial colonialism (Papa New Guinea, Phillipines, Vietnam, etc), 4) British and French colonial indirect (resource control through control of political leadership) rule (India, Nigeria, Chad/Cameroon, Jordan, etc).  We also consider first peoples perspectives (Irish Travellers, Sami in Norway, and the Ainu in Japan, etc) within this spectrum of distinguishable but highly interlinked domains for conceptualizing “who are the Indigenous” .

Potential readership for this issue

There is an increasing interest in the rights of Indigenous peoples especially as they relate to their ownership and/or assertion of title to the natural resources within national boundaries. This interest is from industry players, government officials and society in general.  The evolution of how Indigenous rights around the world are interpreted and accommodated is thus significant to Indigenous and non-Indigenous enterprise creation and operation. The potential readership is thus a diverse range of people within each of these areas as well as those in academia that have a research interest on this topic.

Examples of relevant topics include but are not limited to:

  • The processes used for negotiating and forming Strategic Alliances amongst natural resource sector corporations and Indigenous communities
  • Sustainability and stewardship opportunities for Indigenous peoples around the world
  • The evolution and impact of negotiated agreements with Indigenous peoples
  • Indigenous and native rights
  • Indigenous entrepreneurship
  • Community and economic development tied to the natural resource sector
  • How existing theory may be used to explain, provide insight and or test existing observations within an Indigenous entrepreneurship context
  • The usage/alignment of Indigenous worldviews with the concepts of sustainable business, social enterprise and corporate social responsibility
  • Hybrid organizations within an Indigenous context
  • Global legislation, policy and observed practice germane to the natural resource sector and Indigenous entrepreneurship
  • The politics of resource extraction, exclusion and suppression of Indigenous rights and development

Submissions should be prepared in accordance with JSBE’s guidelines as indicated on and submitted electronically at: between November 1, 2014 and January 1 2015. When submitting, be sure to indicate the submission is for the special issue.

Questions regarding the special issue may be addressed to: Dr. Bob Kayseas



Anderson, R. B. (1997). Corporate/indigenous partnerships in economic development: The first nations in Canada. World Development25(9), 1483-1503.

Anderson, R. B., Dana, L. P., & Dana, T. E. (2006). Indigenous land rights, entrepreneurship, and economic development in Canada:“Opting-in” to the global economy. Journal of world business41(1), 45-55.

Gallagher, B. (2012). Resource Rulers Fortune and Folly on Canada’s Road to Resources. On Demand Publishing, LLC-Create Space, 2012. ISBN: 0988056909.

Langton, M., & Longbottom, J. (Eds.). (2012). Community futures, legal architecture: foundations for Indigenous peoples in the global mining boom. Routledge.

McLeod, N. (2000). Negotiating the Space Between Tribal Communities and Academia. Expressions in Native Studies (Saskatoon: University of  Saskatchewan  Extensions Press): 2739

Sawyer, T. and Gomez, E. (2012). The Politics of Resource Extraction: Indigenous Peoples, Multinational Corporations and the State. New York: Palgrave and Macmillan.

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.