Manitoba Sustainable Community Economic Development Lead
Tunde Ogunje Manitoba Sustainable Community Economic Development Lead © Nature United

Our People

Tunde Ogunje

Manitoba Sustainable Community Economic Development Lead

Canada

  • Areas of Expertise

    community development, sustainable economies

Biography

Tunde joined Nature United as the Manitoba Sustainable Community Economic Development Lead. He is an Accountant, and associate member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA). Before joining Nature United, Tunde worked as a Staff Accountant with the Indigenous Management Group Inc. (IMG), a Management consulting company in Manitoba engaged in accounting, consulting and project management activities primarily for First Nation communities. Tunde is also pursuing a graduate degree in the Master's in Development Practice program (MDP) at the University of Winnipeg. The degree focuses on Indigenous development, how Indigenous knowledge and experience, rooted in culture and identity, can help shape a sustainable path for development.

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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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