Indigenous Leadership Development Institute Inc. (ILDII), an Indigenous run not-for-profit organization located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (incorporated in 2000), initiated the World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF), in partnership with leaders of host countries representing Indigenous communities. The most recent edition was held in Villavicencio, Meta, Colombia, October 26 – 28th, 2022. The WIBF draws attention to Indigenous Economic Development and is a non-for-Profit initiative. Presently, a local committee is working in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea together with ILDI in the organization of the WIBF 2023.

Host Countries

In 2010, ILDII partnered with the World Business Forum in New York City, NY, USA and launched the first ever World Indigenous Business Forum. The following years it was held: 

  • New York City, NY, USA, 2011 
  • Sydney, Australia, 2012 
  • Namibia, Africa, 2013 
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala, 2014 
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, 2015 
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 2016 
  • Santiago de Chile, 2017
  • Rotorua, New Zealand, 2018
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 2019
  • Virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 & 2021
  • Villavicencio, Meta, Colombia, 2022
  • Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 2023

In Guatemala, attending leaders signed the Guatemala Protocol, which initiated the World Indigenous Business Network (WIBN).

The “WIBF day” was created by the Governor of Hawaii to acknowledge the Forum.

The WIBF in Saskatoon attracted over one thousand enterprise minded people from 11 different countries and a new definition for “Indigenous Development” was proposed, discussed, voted, and agreed to. As a result, it changed the Wikipedia definition.


An impressive series of speakers have graced the stages of WIBF with very important information and knowledge about Indigenous economic development, to name a few:

  • James Cameron, Canadian Film Producer and Director
  • Phil Fontaine Fmr. National Chief, Canada
  • Don Schroeder President and CEO, Tim Hortons, Canada
  • Alejandro Toledo Fmr President of Peru
  • César Gaviria Fmr President of Colombia
  • Rigoberta Menchu Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Guatemala,
  • Val Kilmer, Actor and Philanthropist, USA
  • David Chartrand President of Manitoba Metis Federation
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie Singer/Songwriter
  • Otto Molina Perez, Fmr President of Guatemala
  • Sheena Graham, SPO, Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia
  • Ernesto Sirolli, CEO, Sirolli Institute, USA/Italy
  • Navi Radjou, Scholar, USA/France/India
  • Hon. Minister Mahuta, Minister of International Affairs, New Zealand,
  • Jacqui Caine, New Zealand Ambassador to Chile
  • Patricia Peña, Canadian Ambassador to Chile
  • Stedman Graham, CEO, S. Graham and Associates
  • Adam Beach, Canadian Actor, Canada
  • Magie Cook, CEO and Founder of Maggie’s Salsa, LLC, Mexico
  • Francia Marquez, Vice President of Colombia

The event has grown with importance creating ongoing partnerships and economic development amongst Indigenous leaders from around the world.

Rosa Walker
Founder, President and CEO, Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, Inc, (ILDII)

Rosa is the visionary behind the World Indigenous Business Forum and has led it for thirteen years. Prior to ILDII, she was the Executive Director and part of the team for the start-up of Taking Charge! Inc., a Federal and Provincial initiative for single parents to transition into the workforce. She was employed at the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs as Managing Director, Workplace Diversity. Rosa worked with the Bank of Montreal in the capacity of Manager, workplace Equality for Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Rosa was a former Board Member of the National Aboriginal Economic Development board, the Aboriginal Training and Employment Services, National Aboriginal Youth Association, Inc., and a Member of Inter Provincial Association on Native Employment, Manitoba Chapter. Rosa was a Board Member of Accreditation Canada, as well as the Faculty of Business and Economic Alumni Committee and Global College Advisory Council, both of the University of Winnipeg. Currently, Rosa is the Chair of First People’s Economic Growth Fund and a Member of the Premier’s Economic Opportunities Advisory Board.

Rosa is the recipient of the YM-YWCA Women of Distinction Award and in 2014, was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. She is the recipient of an Inspire Award in 2021 and most recently, Spotify’s Top 100 Fascinating Manitobans.

Barb Hambleton
Director, World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF)

Barb is a proud member of Couchiching First Nation, who works from a Manitoba home-based office doing various management contracts while also travelling for work commitments and speaking engagements. Barbs work experience and demonstrated knowledge have aligned with career goals of Indigenous inclusion in corporate Canada and further, the global workforce. A dedicated approach to working with First Nations to assist in creating positive initiatives, establishing community and business goals while working to create proactive relationships for our people.

Barbs experience includes Vice President for 12-years with the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, Inc, (ILDII) and 9-years as Director of the World Indigenous Business Forum. Barb was also the Band Manger and CEO with Big Grassy River First Nation, managing 300 staff and overseeing the administration, financials, health centre, secondary school, child welfare and the newly built water treatment plant. Barb has immense experience in event coordination that includes securing venues, sponsorship, communications, negotiating event contracts, travel arranging, event direction and final reporting.

Barbs prior work includes, Chair of the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Chair of the former original Women’s Network, and Board Member of St. Amant Centre. Career highlights include, Main Forum Speaker for the United National Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples, held in Geneva Switzerland.

Mackenzie Oatway
Manager, Executive Training and Special Projects, Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, Inc. (ILDII)

Mackenzie Oatway is a member of Peguis First Nation. She received a certificate for completing a 5-week intensive Get into Administration course before her employment with Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, Inc. (ILDII). At the beginning of her employment with ILDII in 2017, she assisted with the enrolment process for the Introductory Carpentry Program and soon after coordinated and acted as the retention and support worker for the Skills Link Program.

Currently, Mackenzie is the Manager, coordinating and managing the logistics of the World Indigenous Business Forum and the Executive Training courses ILDII offers. Mackenzie is also an active volunteer with Empowering Indigenous Youth in Governance and Leadership and has volunteered at the World Indigenous Business Forum since 2017.