Our People

Tunde Ogunje

Manitoba Community Economic Development Lead

headshot of a black man standing in front of bushes

Tunde Ogunje Manitoba Community Economic Development Lead © Nature United

Areas of Focus

Helping communities create economic development plans, such as those for non-timber forest products.

Media Contact

Jacqueline Nunes
ph. 416 526-7353
Email:

The best part of working at Nature United has been the chance to be on the ground working to support development with people who have been colonially marginalized.

Biography

Tunde supports communities’ economic development planning, manages Nature United’s economic development grants, develops and maintains relationships with communities and service providers.

Before joining Nature United in 2020, he was an accountant with the Indigenous Management Group, a management consulting company in Manitoba that does accounting, consulting and project management activities primarily for First Nation communities. He is a chartered professional accountant, certified stockbroker and has the Canadian securities course.

While in his job, Tunde has also nearly completed his master’s in development practice at the University of Winnipeg, focusing on Indigenous development and how Indigenous knowledge can shape a sustainable path for development. In his limited free time, he loves hanging out with family and friends, playing lawn tennis, and watching soccer.

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What is your role at Nature United?

I’m focused on supporting local, sustainable economies that create jobs while reinforcing cultural and conservation values in Manitoba. We do this by connecting Indigenous communities with partners who can provide funding, capacity and resources. When we begin working with a community, we take the position that we don’t have the solutions. We ask what their priorities are and have a discussion that is led by them. 

What’s been your favorite experience so far?

When I was in accounting, I could connect to the server, get the numbers and do the books without ever meeting people in person. But here, in this work, you have to engage the people to know the areas where they can be supported. That piece has been wonderful. 

What is the role of conservation finance in economic development?

What’s very important in financing is creating a product. In this work, conservation is the product. And we have to figure out how to finance it. We look at endowments, eco-tourism, carbon offsets, and getting government to redirect funds to conservation. This results in more community-based enterprises and leads to more jobs. 

What inspires you? 

There is power in sustainable economic development. The more economic development that happens within Indigenous communities, the more control they will have, the louder their voices will be. This is important during negotiations and decision-making on matters affecting the people. 

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