Andre O’Bonsawin, MMIE

Andre is Abenaki, a member of the Odanak First Nation. As the CEO of his consultancy and graphic design firm, he brings a unique perspective and valuable skills to the table. His expertise in marketing, entrepreneurship, post-secondary, board-level leadership and governance, combined with great understanding of Indigenous values, allows him to approach projects with a culturally sensitive and inclusive lens. Incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing into his work not only promotes diversity and inclusion but also helps organizations understand and respect the rich cultural heritage and perspectives of Indigenous communities. This can lead to more meaningful and impactful outcomes in the projects he undertake.

In his most recent role as Director for the National InSTEM program at Actua, a national charitable organization, Andre supported universities and colleges in delivering for-credit land camps focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education to over 35,000 Indigenous youth across Canada annually. His strong understanding of supporting Indigenous youth in STEM is derived from his prior employment at Algonquin College in Ottawa, where he served as the Director of Indigenous Initiatives. In that capacity, Andre led Indigenous innovation and entrepreneurship, fostered safe spaces for Indigenous learners, and worked diligently to enhance Indigenous outreach and engagement with Indigenous communities.

In addition to his role in the consultancy and graphic design firm, Andre continues to operate his own marketing and design business, offering printing services to agencies and designers nationwide. With over 25 years of marketing and design experience across various sectors such as tourism, education, economic development, mining, and the private sector, Andre brings a wealth of expertise to his clients. Furthermore, he has contributed his knowledge as a part-time instructor in Canadore College’s Graphic Design program.

Andre’s dedication and significant contributions to student life and Indigenous education have garnered him various awards and accolades. He was recognized as one of Northern Ontario’s Top 40 under Forty for business and received the Chris Warburton Award of Excellence for his outstanding contribution to student life at Algonquin College. Moreover, his impactful initiatives supporting Indigenous learners and communities earned him the Indigenous Education Excellence Awards from Colleges and Institutions Canada on two occasions.

Given his extensive background, experiences, and unwavering commitment to Indigenous education and empowerment, Andre serves as a valuable asset to any organization seeking to promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and advance the process of reconciliation.