Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 92: Business and Reconciliation (92)

Indigenous leaders help design new CPA program to address barriers to accounting profession

September 26, 2023

NationTalk: TORONTO — For the first time, Indigenous candidates are learning the CPA curriculum through a specialized program that incorporates Indigenous culture, context and content.

The program for Indigenous learners, a partnership between the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Alberta (AFOA Alberta), the CPA Western School of Business and CPA Canada, aims to help remove systemic barriers for Indigenous learners and increase Indigenous representation in the accounting profession.

The first of its kind in the world, the development of the program involved a collaborative approach with First Nations, Metis and Inuit subject matter experts who are CPAs.

“The impact of Indigenous students seeing themselves in the accounting texts and material is so profound. It validates the self. It validates their culture and traditions,” says Dr. Robert Andrews, CPA, CMA, project co-lead and executive director of the AFOA Alberta, and a member of the Blood Tribe.

“The impact of seeing oneself in that material is like seeing yourself in the mirror for the first time.”

For Maureen Moneta of the Metis Nation of Alberta, CPA and member of the CPA Alberta Board of Directors, the program is not about trying to help Indigenous people. “It’s incredibly important to understand that more Indigenous inclusion within the CPA profession is going to make every CPA better, and every member of our extended ecosystem and business community better,” she says. “Including Indigenous voices isn’t only about helping Indigenous communities, it’s about helping all of us.”

The program’s intent is threefold: to include more Indigenous people in the accounting profession, to improve socioeconomic outcomes for Indigenous communities, and to protect and serve the Canadian public.

It is part of the accounting profession’s efforts to act on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 92, which asks the corporate sector to advance reconciliation efforts including through ensuring Indigenous people have equitable access to jobs, training and education opportunities.

In the spirit of Indigenous values around shared knowledge, much of the course content, along with learnings from the implementation will be available free of charge to Canadian post-secondary institutions offering accounting courses. Program partners and Indigenous subject matter experts are currently creating the next two courses to be delivered to Indigenous students in January of 2024: Introductory Managerial Accounting and Core 2.

For more information contact:

Carla Peacock
Manager, Corporate Communications
Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada
Cell:  647-922-7339