Andre O’Bonsawin is an Abenaki member of the Odanak First Nation. Originally from Sudbury (Northern Ontario) he now resides with his family in Ottawa.
Mr. O’Bonsawin has recently joined Actua as the Associate Director for the National InSTEM (Indigenous youth in STEM) program, a national charitable organization delivering STEM education to over 35,000 Indigenous youth annually. His strong understanding of supporting Indigenous youth in STEM extends from his previous employment at Algonquin College, Ottawa located on the unceded territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Peoples.
For the past ten years with Algonquin College, his role was to lead Indigenous Innovation and Entrepreneurship enhanced by Indigenous Knowledge, facilitate a sense of safe space for Indigenous learners within the College community and increase Indigenous outreach, access and engagement with Indigenous communities to support Indigenous learners in their journey (i.e., transition, progression, graduation and advancement, and re-engagement). Andre designed and developed mentorship, entrepreneurship and leadership programs to help empower Indigenous learners. He also enabled collaborative processes and initiatives with the College’s Leadership Teams in respect to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action that benefited all College learners and employees.
As an intrapreneur and an entrepreneur he continues to operate his marketing and design business and operates an online printing business that includes affiliates across Canada. His background includes over 20 years of marketing and design experience in the areas of tourism, education, economic development, mining and private sectors. He has also taught part-time at Canadore College within their Graphic Design program. He is a Queen’s University alumni from the Smith School of Business’ Master of Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship (2019).
Andre was awarded Northern Ontario’s Top 40 under Forty. He has received the Chris Warburton Award of Excellence for outstanding contribution to student life at Algonquin College. Colleges and Institutions Canada has recognized and rewarded his office twice with the Indigenous Education Excellence Awards for multiple strategic initiatives supporting Indigenous learners and communities.