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The Common Share

Welcome to The Common Share, a podcast about the opportunities and challenges of developing co-operative businesses. The Common Share is produced by Co-operatives First, a business development organization that increases awareness and understanding of the co-op business model and supports co-operative business development in rural and Indigenous communities across western Canada.


Last Episode Date: 31 May 2024

Total Episodes: 67

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31 May 2024
Economic Development and Co-ops in Île-à-la-Crosse

In this episode, our Director of Indigenous Relations, Trista Pewapisconias, and I spoke with Tyler Morin, CEO of Sakitawak Development Corporation and the Île-à-la-Crosse Fish Company. Tyler was born and raised in Île-à-la-Crosse, he earned a bachelor’s degree in comm...

16 min
24 April 2024
Childcare in Canada

This year at Co-operatives First we’re focused on helping groups start childcare co-operatives to help meet the need for childcare across the western provinces. To help us guide this initiative, we are privileged to have an advisory committee that consists of today’s gu...

40 min
19 March 2024
Co-operating among the cornstalks

In this episode, Trista speaks to Lea Zeise and Jen Falck of Ohe·láku, a nonprofit co-op in Wisconsin. The co-op's members are Oneida families relearning how to grow traditional White Corn together and sharing the lessons they learn. This is a lovely conversation abo...

21 min
28 February 2024
What can we learn from co-ops in Wisconsin?

In this episode, Kyle spoke to Courtney Berner, Executive Director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives. They talked about the co-op landscape in Wisconsin and how it compares to Canada, why Wisconsin is such an incubator for innovative co-operative develop...

42 min
31 January 2024
The Battle River Railway Cooperative

Matt Enright is the general manager of the Battle River Railway Cooperative based in Forestburg, Alberta. A local grain farmer, Matt has served as GM since 2015. This new generation co-operative was formed in 2010 when area producers and residents bought the 52-mile stretch ...

26 min
30 November 2023
Growing Canada's Renewable Energy Co-ops

This summer, Aasa attended the "Scaling up the impact of renewable energy co-operatives in Canada" conference in Ottawa, where  Renewable Energy Co-op (REC) leaders met to discuss how they could collaborate to grow their impacts. While there, she spoke to Johan H...

18 min
20 October 2023
The benefits of business plans

In this episode, Kyle speaks to James Grieve, Certified Management Consultant, about his approach to creating a business plan, including how to know when you need one, understanding the why of your business, and recognizing the value of experts and resources in this process.

36 min
11 September 2023
The Caisse populaire Kahnawake and the importance of Indigenous financial institutions

In this episode, our Director of Indigenous Relations, Trista Pewapisconias, spoke to Michael Rice – a founder and past manager of the Caisse Populaire Kahnawake, a hugely successful Indigenous credit union which has been around since 1987. He tells the story of how the cr...

33 min
31 July 2023
A primer on co-op governance

In this episode, Director of Education Kyle White had a great conversation with Federated Co-operatives Limited's General Counsel and Corporate Secretary (and Co-operatives First board chair) Sheldon Stener. Sheldon is an expert in governance with important insights for...

27 min
30 June 2023
Good Governance Lessons

After six years of leading the Good Governance Matters course, our Director of Education Kyle White has heard a lot from co-op leaders. In this episode, we talked about the themes and lessons that have emerged from the conversations had during the course — the result is in...

36 min
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