Financial Empowerment is an adaptation of the openly licensed textbook Personal Finance, v. 1.0 which was adapted by Saylor Academy under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee and is available here:

The purpose of this textbook adaptation is to take an accessible, student-focused personal finance textbook from the United States and make it affordable and relevant for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. While many mainstream Canadian personal finance texts provide excellent content in terms of the mechanics of personal finance, they are expensive and not always relevant to the values and experiences of students in the classroom. Many mainstream personal finance texts fall short for Indigenous Canadians and non-Indigenous Canadians alike because they do not speak to readers’ varied backgrounds, knowledge systems, and experiences. This textbook aims to motivate a broad range of students to learn about personal finance. While it is beyond the scope of this book to address all of the diverse groups that comprise the Canadian population, the text does attempt to provide practical, student-focused information that all students can relate to.

Everyone needs to be able to see themselves in what they are learning, and this text represents one small effort to make personal finance more relevant to Indigenous students in Canada, and to also teach non-Indigenous students about Indigenous histories, perspectives, and realities. It is this understanding and knowledge that will contribute to reconciliation in Canada.

Another intention of this text is to contribute to real social, political, and economic change, which the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada calls for in order for reconciliation to be achieved. Increased financial literacy and personal finance knowledge can contribute to that social, political, and economic change.

Financial Empowerment is designed for a single-semester introduction to financial planning and decision-making. It seeks to provide students with the necessary financial literacy and skills needed to make sound financial decisions, assess financial risk, and achieve financial success. Given the broad scope and application of financial literacy, this textbook is developed for students taking first- and second-year courses in a post-secondary institution.

The specific goals of this textbook are:

  • to help students build a solid understanding of personal finance in order to achieve financial literacy and financial success by providing them with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate short- and long-term financial change;
  • to tailor the content for a Canadian audience by providing Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives on personal finance and financial planning using examples and information from the Canadian financial system and economy;
  • to increase accessibility to financial education resources for students and the general public alike, regardless of where they live or study;
  • to customize the content for Indigenous students in Canada and address student needs for practical and theoretical knowledge on financial decision-making and financial risk assessment; and
  • to connect financial literacy with Indigenous Knowledge and history by threading Indigenous perspectives and interviews with Elders and other community leaders throughout the textbook.


Financial Empowerment will introduce you to the theory of personal finance through real-life examples of financial decision-making, including videos with Elders. This textbook has been adapted in order to provide you with the most up-to-date and relevant information. Since this is an open textbook, there will be annual reviews and updates of the content to ensure that the predetermined critical learning elements and outcomes are met. Instructors may assign additional readings to each class in order to enrich your learning.

Each chapter will begin with a brief overview of the chapter content. Key terms are highlighted in bold.

Coloured boxes are used in each chapter to differentiate and highlight important learning features (see the following diagram).

Key Learning Features
Learning Objectives
Key Takeaways

Learning objectives in the green coloured boxes provide clear directions for each section and provide structure to your learning. Orange boxes containing key takeaways contain a general overview of chapter content at the end of each chapter section. Exercises in the blue boxes at the end of each chapter section provide additional information, as well as an opportunity for students to review and apply what they have learned.

Where relevant, a complete list of references is included at the end of chapter sections to clearly document and attribute the source material and to assist students in locating resources.

Video interviews with Elders provide critical historical information, First Nations perspectives on personal finance, and wisdom meant to help guide students.

Figures, diagrams, and tables provide a plethora of attractive and concise visual learning aids.


Hypothesis (or is an open source web annotation tool that students and instructors can use to highlight and annotate online text, which they can share publicly or privately (for group discussion) or use for individual study. Hypothesis encourages deeper engagement with academic text and other Internet resources.

Hypothesis has been enabled for the online format of this textbook. To use this tool, you will first need to create a free account with Hypothesis and then follow the step-by-step instructions. For more information, Hypothesis offers the following Quick Start Guides:

  1. Quick Start Guide for Students
  2. Quick Start Guide for Teachers


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Financial Empowerment: Personal Finance for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People Copyright © 2018 by Bettina Schneider and Saylor Academy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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