Indigenous-SME Business Magazine : March - April 2024

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Empowering Canadian Indigenous Businesses INDIGENOUSSME ISSUE NO. 9 MAR-APRIL 2024 The Canadian ShippingPartner Accounting SoftwarePartner Nakanagis Inc. Carey Calder's Consulting Company Consulting Company A Trailblazing Indigenous A Trailblazing Indigenous Founder | Principal, Nakanagis Inc. Celebrating IndigenousBeauty: TheVisionaryLeaders BehindTribalureCanadaInc PAGE18 PAGE20 PAGE31 International Women’s Day Celebrating 2024

ItiswithimmensepleasureandpridethatwepresenttheNinthedition oftheIndigenousSMEBusinessMagazine.Thisedition,covering March-April,isnotjustapublicationbutatestamenttotheincredible achievementsofIndigenousentrepreneursandsmallbusinessowners throughoutCanada Asoneofthenationsleadingsmallbusiness publications,ourdedicationliesinempoweringyouwitheffective strategies,insightfultips,andpracticaladviceessentialforthrivingin today'sentrepreneurialworld

Thisspecialedition,themed"WomeninBusiness&Earth& Environment,”iscuratedwithcontentthatresonateswiththespiritof MarchandApril monthsthatsymbolizetransformation,growth,and renewal

OurfeaturesincludecelebratingtheachievementsofIndigenous womeninbusinessthroughinterviewsandinsights,storiesofecowarriorsandgreentechsolutionspioneeringasustainablefuture, offeringinsightsonbalancingbusiness,personallife,andcommunity roles,ashowcaseofproductsandservicesdesignedbyIndigenous people,andeducatingwomenonfinancialplanningandinvestment strategies

WedelveintothejourneysofsixIndigenousbusinesswomen,spotlight contemporaryIndigenousartistrythroughCatherineBlackburn Jewellery,shareMelissaBrant'spathtowellnessandcreativity,feature CareyCalderstrailblazingconsultingcompany,andcelebratethe visionaryleadersbehindTribalureCanadaInc,amongmanyother inspiringstoriesandinterviews Ourprimaryfeature,"Businesswoman oftheMonth,"proudlycelebratesGeenaJackson,avisionaryforcein theIndigenousentrepreneuriallandscape AstheCreatorand ExecutiveProducerofBearsLair TV,Geena'sinnovativespiritand dedicationtoelevatingIndigenousvoicesinbusinessexemplify leadershipthatinspiresandtransforms

Ourmagazinetakesimmenseprideinhighlightingthevoicesof distinguishedwomenleadersanddignitaries,remindingusofthe collectivepowerembeddedwithinourdiversebackgrounds Lettheir wisdominspireustoempoweroneanother,ignitesubstantialchange, andcraftalegacyofinclusivity

Wetrustthattheinsightsandknowledgepresentedinthiseditionwill serveasinvaluableresourcesonyourentrepreneurialjourney Tostay abreastofthelatesttrendsandupcomingevents,weencourageyou tosubscribetoourmagazineatwww.indigenous-sme.caandjoinus inourmissiontochampiongrowthandempowermentwithinthe Indigenousbusinesscommunity


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Laurie Sterritt: Promoting Diversity, Inclusion and Reconciliation in Executive Search
Digital Transformation in Canadian SMEs: Insights from Xero's Faye Pang 18
24 Cree8ive Advisory: Blending Indigenous Knowledge with Modern Strategy 22 Striking a Harmony: Work-Life Solutions for Entrepreneurs 20
Celebrating Indigenous Beauty: The Visionary Leaders Behind Tribalure Canada Inc.
Carey Calder's Nakanagis Inc. : A Trailblazing Indigenous Consulting Company 51 Her Wealth, Her Way: Personal Finance and Investment Strategies for Indigenous Women 54 Business Woman of the Month Geena Jackson 29 Revolutionizing Clean Beauty: The Story of Nancy and Anthony Wingham, Founders of Nuez Acres 43 Partnership with a Purpose By Jeff Blundell 6 Pow Wow Pitch Inspires, Empowers, and Uplifts Indigenous Women 38 Indigenous Business Women to Celebrate on International Women’s Day

Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year 2023

6 Indigenous Business Women to Celebrate on International Women’s Day

As the year 2024 gears up for tremendous economic changes, th landscape is fast chan day. And though low o entrepreneurs have m to the Canadian econo doubt! However, one c out amongst the broa backgrounds – the Ca Entrepreneurs. From ha to fighting for their fun formidable Indigenous come a long to stand

They have carved out their place as significant contributors to the economy after facing numerous challenges, battling systemic barriers and historical injustices What’s more, these resilient yet beautiful leaders have emerged, their paths characterized by perseverance, resolve, and a steadfast dedication to their respective communities

In observance of International Women's Day 2024 on March 8, which is centered around the theme 'Inspire Inclusion,' it is crucial to contemplate the extraordinary advancements achieved by Indigenous women entrepreneurs and the lasting influence they exert. These women transcend mere entrepreneurs; they are innovators who challenge preconceived notions and transform perspectives with every significant accomplishment they attain. Today, we specifically mention and commemorate the six most successful Indigenous women entrepreneurs who have stirred the Canadian business community for many great reasons

So, let us all take this opportunity to borrow some of the inspiration and passion these women exude for not just uplifting their communities but making a bigger & positive difference


Conceived as a collaboration between brother and sister team Jesse and Erin Brillion, Totem Design House began in 2004 with a line of custom clothing that has since evolved into a brand that has expanded to produce sustainable clothing, jewelry and wellness products The Brillons are of Haida and Cree ancestry and have grown up with a profound appreciation for their rich cultural heritage Raised on the Northwest Coast of BC to a commercial fishing family, the two are influenced by their Nation’s surrounding nature and art

The business rapidly expanded in 2014 when Erin and her then 14-year-old daughter learned to screen-print. In 2016, she launched her first ecofriendly collections of women ’ s wear and home decor textiles

In 2015, acclaimed Northwest Coast artist Andy Everson joined the team. Today, Totem Design House produces a wide range of works, including an exclusive collection of Andy’s works featuring traditional motifs on hemp pillows and a series melding traditional art with pop culture.


Sarah Meconse catering company and on Tradish’s o urban Indigenous upporting Indigenous

ef Sarah Meconse

k at their new cafe The mother/son duo is known for their nourishing jams, which utilize traditional botanical ingredients for additional health benefits that are equally delicious


winning entrepreneur and Canadian aviation leader, CEO Teara s a serial entrepreneur with a penchant for breaking boundaries in han a few industries As the first Indigenous woman to establish her line, Iskwew Air, Fraser is carving a path through what has ally been a male-dominated industry

r marks another debut for the influential woman, as she launches Liberty ess Lodge on Babine Lake. The off-grid wellness lodge offers a unique ic remote wilderness experience. Guests are surrounded by nature and e opportunity to reconnect with the land, sea, and sky Nestled in the trees and just steps from the ocean, the resort will offer some of the region’s most incredible Indigenous outdoor experiences The lodge will open in midMay, further inspiring generations of women in their entrepreneurial pursuits

Guided by her passion for the land and by the protocols of the Sḵwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw and Lilwat7úl Nations, Alison Pascal curates the exhibits for the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler Following a background in tourism management, Pascal was introduced to Indigenous Tourism during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, where the Lilwat7úl (Lil’wat) Nation partnered with four host First Nations to develop education opportunities, one area of which was the tourism sector

Fraser, Owner of Iskwew Air and berty Wilderness Lodge – Vancouver, BC Alison Pascal, Curator at Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre – Whistler, BC
10-IndigenousSMEMarch-April2024 Women Entrepreneurship

Starting by sharing her community’s story, Pascal’s role slowly evolved, becoming more of a curator, maintaining the art pieces, helping to install new exhibitions, and collaborating with local artists Before long, she was developing and curating exhibits and now leads the team as the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre Curator


Marina LeClair, Co-Founder of Tawnshi Charcuterie – Vancouver, BC

Tawnshi Charcuterie is a twist on the typical charcuterie fare featuring unique fusions of Indigenous flavours and ingredients sourced from Indigenous suppliers and communities across Canada The idea for the innovative company came to Co-Founder Marina LeClair in the shower and has been garnering attention for the incredible ingredients that differ with each box

Made up of unique flavours and bites such as pickled milkweed pods, cedar jelly, sea bacon and a variety of other Indigenous foods not often included on traditional charcuterie boards. Every box comes with a QR code that tells you more about each item providing insight into where the product originated and how best to enjoy


Maria Clark, Assistant General Manager at Tin Wis – Tofino, BC

As Assistant General Manager at Tin Wis in Tofino, Maria has a staff of over 30 reporting to her She is passionate about sharing her knowledge with people from around the world and inspiring other Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members within the Tin Wis team to offer the gift of their culture and language, Nuu-Chah-nulth, with guests creating a meaningful exchange for all

Born and raised in Tofino, Maria has deep roots in the local community and a strong connection to the land Throughout her tenure at Tin Wis Resort, Maria advanced through a number of key roles before taking on the Assistant Manager position Her commitment to the community is further embodied in her time volunteering and supporting local events and initiatives promoting environmental sustainability and cultural preservation

Women Entrepreneurship

Catherine Blackburn Jewellery:

Contemporary Artistry Embracing Indigenous Stories

Catherine Blackburn was born in Patuanak Saskatchewan and is a member of the English River First Nation (Denesųłiné) She is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweller, whose common themes address Canada's colonial past that are often prompted by personal narratives Her work grounds itself in the Indigenous feminine and is bound through the ancestral love that stitching suggests Through stitchwork, she explores Indigenous sovereignty, decolonization and representation. Her work has exhibited in notable national and international exhibitions including: Radical Stitch, Àbadakone, Santa Fe Haute Couture Fashion Show and Toronto Indigenous Fashion Week. She has received numerous awards for her work including the Sobey Art Award longlist (2019/2023), a Forge Residency Fellowship (2022), and an Eiteljorg Fellowship (2021).

Art has been an integral part of the rich tapestry of Indigenous traditions and cultural heritage Without the artistic prowess, the Indigenous legacies would remain bland To celebrate the true spirit of freedom and culture preserved through thousands of years, one Indigenous woman entrepreneur is literally making noise for all the right reasons

Catherine Blackburn, a jeweller and visionary multidisciplinary artist from Patuanak, Saskatchewan, is a member of the English River First Nation Her artistic virtuosity surpasses traditional limitations as she explores the depths of Canada's colonial history through a fusion of personal anecdotes and Indigenous femininity Blackburn's artwork skillfully integrates motifs of decolonization, representation, and sovereignty, resulting in works that evoke sentiments of ancestral adoration and cultural fortitude.


Exploring Indigenous Femininity

Catherine Blackburn's jewellery is founded upon a profound investigation of the femininity that is Indigenous in nature. Catherine's artistic creations, which are deeply rooted in her Dene and European heritage, effectively convey the enduring fortitude and resilience that Indigenous women embody Constantly integrating historical materials and techniques into her creations, she conveys a profound affinity for ancestral knowledges while imbuing them with contemporary significance Catherine's artistic oeuvre exalts the intrinsic allure, thereby subverting preconceived notions and reclaiming narratives with each shrewdly constructed composition

Indigenous Arts and Culture

Reflecting on the Colonial Era of Canada

The artistry of Catherine functions as a potent medium through which Canada's colonial heritage is addressed. She undertakes a critical examination of historical injustices and questions dominant narratives of assimilation and erasure through the lens of personal experiences Every individual jewellery item serves as a narrative, showcasing the unwavering determination of Indigenous communities to retain their sovereignty and right to determine their own course of action


Fostering the Development of Indigenous Art via IFA

The Indigenous Fashion Alliance (IFA) serves as an exemplar of empowerment for Catherine Blackburn and other Indigenous artists IFA, which is dedicated to the exhibition of fashion, textiles, and crafts created by Indigenous peoples, offers a forum where artists can commemorate their cultural heritage and share their personal narratives IFA promotes inclusivity and accessibility by increasing the visibility of Indigenous women and their creative contributions, thereby challenging conventional notions of attractiveness and fashion By means of partnerships and exhibitions, IFA facilitates increased awareness and admiration of Indigenous culture worldwide by establishing a connection between mainstream fashion and Indigenous craftsmanship

Ultimately, the jewellery designed by Catherine Blackburn is a living tribute to the strength and creativity of Indigenous peoples Blackburn's enduring excellence in craftsmanship and steadfast dedication to narrative construction persistently challenge conventional norms and establish new standards, thereby making a lasting impact on the realm of contemporary art. Blackburn's ongoing incorporation of Indigenous narratives into her artistic works serves as a source of inspiration for all, encouraging them to embrace their shared cultural heritage and work toward a future founded on mutual appreciation, esteem, and cultural variety.

Take a tour of Catherine’s official website to browse through her artistic jewelry pieces and how much they cost. Click here for more information.

The Indigenous SME Magazine is a great resource for Canada's small Indigenous businesses, new and seasoned Visit the website below to view our magazine Click here to follow our X account for news updates. So what are you waiting for? Join our business-loving community for inspiration, motivation and growth.

Indigenous Arts and Culture

Melissa Brant's Story:

Indigenous Artist and Mindset Coach on the Path to Wellness and Creativity

As an Indigenous woman and devoted mother, I infuse my multi-disciplinary artistry with the rich tapestry of my heritage and life experiences. My creative journey has been illuminated in the pages of esteemed publications such as The Umbrella Magazine and SPark Magazine gracing both interiors and covers alike.

My vibrant murals adorn various spaces from the captivating Pops Ups at Zwicks Park to the offices of Mp Ryan Williams in Belleville Noteworthy installations also embellish the walls of Harry J Clarke Public School and soon St Theresa's High School and Sir James Whitney Additionally, I've contributed to the cultural landscape by painting the sidewalks of the Macaulay CHurch museum in Picton and showcasing my works at the Bellevue House in Kingston

Specializing in face and body painting, I embody the essence of an intuitive artist, channeling inspiration directly from the heart and the energy of the people I paint for and with Perspective is not only pivotal in my artwork but also in my philosophy towards life, where creativity, community, culture, and connection intersect Everywhere I tread, and in everything I craft, I weave the vibrant energy of gratitude, fostering a world where art transcends boundaries and fosters unity.

As an artist, having my recent work featured on the packaging of Kebaonish, a new local Indigenous-led company, is a profound honour. It's a collaboration that celebrates Indigenous culture, identity, and entrepreneurship, amplifying the voices and visions of our community.Furthermore, I'm deeply committed to supporting our cultural heritage, as evidenced by my ongoing efforts to raise funds for the TTO, the local language and cultural centre through my artwork over the last few years Through art, I strive to not only create beauty but also foster connection, preservation, and empowerment within our community

In a world often dominated by stress and routine, Melissa Brant stands out as a beacon of creativity, wellness, and empowerment She is an Indigenous creative artist and mindset coach whose goal in life is to help others find who they are and what they're here to do with their lives by releasing them from the limitations of their everyday routines Melissa promotes the well-being of her clients on all levels physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual through her business, She's High On Vibes, which combines art, meditation, and dance in a unique way


Embracing Childlike Play for Inner Growth:

Melissa thinks that letting oneself be carefree and play like a kid is crucial for personal development and discovery To her, the key to happiness and expressiveness is getting in touch with one ' s inner voice, which she defines as one ' s intuition, imagination, and genuineness She fosters an accepting space during her sessions where clients are free to express themselves creatively and find joy in being themselves Melissa helps her customers discover their full potential and special talents by encouraging self-love, acceptance, and awareness

Empowering Others to Harness Their Superpowers

Encouraging people to identify and use their inherent abilities is at the heart of Melissa's approach She helps people find a place to cleanse and balance their energy bodies where they aren't judged, compared, or pressured Melissa encourages her customers to live intentionally by boosting their self-esteem so they can feel confident taking charge of their lives Her teachings motivate people to take charge of their own lives and make their dreams a reality

The Power of Creativity to Foster Bonding

Creativity, according to Melissa's perspective, is the glue that holds the universe together and has no bounds She expresses herself mostly via her creative endeavours as an artist She stresses that creativity goes beyond conventional artistic endeavours and urges people to acknowledge their inherent creative potential Melissa emphasizes the significance of listening to one ' s own creative instincts and the interconnectivity of all living creatures via her perspective that every contact is a co-creative endeavour. Melissa promotes cultural regeneration and community empowerment. Melissa is actively involved with Indigenous artists, producers, and knowledge keepers

Indigenous Arts and Culture

To learn more about Melissa’s art pieces or her advocacy, take a website tour by clicking the link here.

Ultimately, Melissa Brant's path as an Indigenous Creative Artist and Mindset Coach showcases a dedication to complete health, individual growth, and reviving Indigenous cultures Melissa's commitment to promoting Indigenous revival, empowerment, and connection is an encouragement to everyone who wants to live a life full of pleasure, honesty, and meaningful connections.

The Indigenous SME Magazine is a great resource for Canada's small Indigenous businesses, new and seasoned Visit the website below to view our magazine Click here to follow our X account for news updates So what are you waiting for? Join our business-loving community for inspiration, motivation and growth

ImageCourtesy:MelissaBrant ImageCourtesy:MelissaBrant

Carey Calder stands as a beacon of innovation and advocacy in the realm of Indigenous business leadership and organizational development. She has amassed more than 15 years of executive management experience directly within Indigenous organizations

Throughout her career, she has consistently been committed to empowering Indigenous communities and teams by cultivating inclusive work environments, which has guided her from Thunder Bay to Ottawa, the unceded territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin People

Carey Calder's Nakanagis Inc.

A Trailblazing Indigenous Consulting Company

Founder | Principal, Nakanagis Inc.

Integrating an Indigenous Lens with Business Acumen:

In her most recent endeavor, Carey Calder launched Nakanagis, an Indigenous-owned consulting company that provides professional management services to organizations and businesses in Canada

As a proud member of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (Sand Point First Nation), and recent Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate, operating her own company feeds her entrepreneurial spirit and exemplifies her specialized knowledge and unwavering commitment to working in community, with community, for community

Fundamental to Nakanagis, is Carey’s aspiration to provide customized consulting solutions through the integration of Indigenous expertise and turn-key service offerings to clients, resulting in positive impacts for the communities they serve.

Carey adeptly navigates effective operations and not-forprofit organizational dynamics which has led to the approach and strategy of her consulting company. In Carey’s vision for Nakanagis, the family name of her Kokum (grandmother), she was determined to focus on services that would result in operational excellence and streamlined processes for clients. Carey upholds Indigenous values throughout her work while nurturing community development, gatherings, team engagement, operational development and strategic planning.


The Development of Inclusive Work Environments:

Carey Calder demonstrates a strong dedication to inclusive work environments through her practical implementation of measures Through a series of Nakanagis workshops, she advocates for progressive workplaces and human resource management strategies that emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion

Carey shares her experience by speaking on expert panels and facilitating training sessions that promote healthy workplace cultures and advocating for Indigenous inclusion, especially in leadership roles Additionally, her work with non-Indigenous organizations supports organizational policies that prioritize reconciliation, highlighting reciprocity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants.

Leading with Social Justice and Empowerment:

Thinking beyond simply a business model, Nakanagis’ vision is predicated on a dedication to social justice and empowerment

After years of executive management within the Indigenous not-for-profit sector, Carey saw firsthand, a critical need for Indigenous-owned businesses In order to procure professional consulting services, there were few options to purchase directly from Indigenous vendors and businesses This was a driving force for starting Nakanagis: to provide a curated suite of strategic service offerings available to the community, which are then tailored to support specific client needs Carey continues to champion the message that more Indigenous businesses and companies are needed, and celebrates this growing trend

Carey's leadership is distinguished by the Indigenous perspective she brings, which aims to guide organizational transformation. Nakanagis places a high priority on endeavours that raise the voices of Indigenous peoples and advance systemic equity, whether by means of community engagement, facilitation, or customized training. Through the provision of event planning and board professional development services, Carey primarily works with Indigenous businesses and organizations to harmonize their operations in a way that leverages efficiencies, ultimately providing teams, boards and leadership with more time to strategize, build and fulfill their goals.

As Nakanagis continues to evolve and grow, Carey's dedication to providing high-quality service to benefit clients, illuminates the path for organizations seeking to effect significant transformation

Learn more about their services and solutions on their official website by clicking the link here.

The Indigenous SME Magazine is a great resource for Canada's small Indigenous businesses, new and seasoned. Visit the website below to view our magazine. Click here to follow our X account for news updates. So what are you waiting for? Join our business-loving community for inspiration, motivation and growth

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Denyse Nadon & Angie Sarsons

Co-Founders of Tribalure

In the bustling world of cosmetics and skincare, Tribalure Canada Inc emerges as a unique player, wholly Indigenous-owned and rooted in a deep commitment to celebrating cultural heritage while promoting wholistic beauty Leading this innovative endeavour are Angie Sarsons and Denyse Nadon, whose unwavering commitment to Indigenous communities and profound love for artistic expression come together to revolutionize beauty norms on a global scale Discover the captivating journey and leadership philosophy of these two exceptional founders.

Celebrating Indigenous Beauty: The Visionary Leaders Behind Tribalure Canada Inc.

Fostering Cultural Respect:

Tribalure deeply respects and values Indigenous cultures at its core Angie Sarsons and Denyse Nadon, guided by a common vision, make sure that their company embraces a wide range of traditions while maintaining a genuine and respectful approach Tribalure's offerings are infused with a deep understanding and appreciation for the rich tapestry of Indigenous heritage Every aspect is carefully crafted to honour and respect these traditions Tribalure not only curates products but also serves as a platform for the celebration and preservation of Indigenous culture on a global scale by fostering a culture of cultural respect

Inclusivity as a Guiding Principle:

Tribalure strongly advocates for inclusivity as a core principle in its mission to redefine beauty standards Angie and Denyse are dedicated to embracing the beauty of all forms and ensuring that Tribalure's products connect with a diverse global audience Tribalure fosters a strong sense of belonging and empowerment among its customers by embracing individuals from every background, ethnicity, and identity Angie and Denyse are making a significant impact on the beauty industry by promoting inclusivity and advocating for a more diverse and fair representation of beauty on a global scale


Embracing the Power of Wholistic Beauty and Self-Empowerment:

Taking a comprehensive approach, Tribalure values not only external beauty but also inner well-being Angie Sarsons and Denyse Nadon are dedicated to fostering self-empowerment, self-love, and selfconfidence among their customers Tribalure's cosmetic products are proudly free from parabens, sulfates, and alcohol, and never tested on animals This mirrors their dedication to cruelty-free practices and the welfare of all living creatures Inspired by the Seven Sacred Teachings of Love, Respect, Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, Humility, and Truth, Angie and Denyse have woven these values into the very fabric of Tribalure's mission Their aim is to empower individuals to embrace their own unique beauty and live their lives authentically

Angie Sarsons and Denyse Nadon, the remarkable individuals behind Tribalure Canada Inc , embody a unique combination of entrepreneurial spirit, cultural advocacy, and dedication to holistic well-being With their unwavering commitment to honouring Indigenous beauty and heritage, they are transforming the beauty industry, product by product Tribalure, created by Angie and Denyse, provides not only top-quality cosmetics and skincare products but also promotes a powerful message of inclusivity, empowerment, and cultural respect that deeply connects people all over the globe As they forge ahead on this extraordinary journey, their influence on the industry and society as a whole is set to be truly revolutionary

Browse through their range of makeup and soon to be skincare products by visiting their website.

Click here.

The Indigenous SME Magazine is a great resource for Canada's small Indigenous businesses, new and seasoned Visit the website below to view our magazine Click here to follow our X account for news updates So what are you waiting for? Join our business-loving community for inspiration, motivation and growth

Cosmetics 21-IndigenousSMEMarch-April2024

Striking a Harmony: Work-Life Solutions for Entrepreneurs

Although gratifying, the entrepreneurial journey is frequently marked by arduous obligations and a lack of clear demarcation between professional and personal spheres The attainment of work-life balance is critical for the maintenance of enduring success and overall wellbeing This article analyzes the importance that entrepreneurs place on work-life balance and investigates pragmatic approaches to achieving a harmonious balance between professional responsibilities and personal fulfillment

The Value of Maintaining a Work-Life Balance:

Entrepreneurs encounter distinct stressors, such as the demands of expanding their businesses and the unpredictability of financial conditions Achieving work-life balance is essential in order to alleviate these stressors and promote holistic health Entrepreneurs who place work-life balance as a top priority can:

Preventing Exhaustion or Burnout:

Long stretches of work without any intervals for rest could end up in exhaustion, which has been associated with reduced levels of productivity and motivation Sustaining a well-rounded way of life cultivates fortitude and sustained achievement

Maximize Output to Enhance Productivity: The maintenance of a balanced lifestyle empowers entrepreneurs to approach their work with revitalized vitality and innovation, leading to heightened output and the successful resolution of challenges

Develop Stronger and Improved Relationships:

Ignoring personal relationships in favour of professional obligations strains relationships and reduces satisfaction Placing emphasis on ones personal life promotes enhanced interpersonal connections and overall contentment.

Boost Health and Wellness:

Physical and mental health maintenance is critical for entrepreneurs Participating in extracurricular pursuits mitigates stress and improves holistic welfare, thereby fostering persistence and fortitude


Here are some of the applicable and practical steps you can take to ensure a balanced mental and physical state – an aspect much ignored yet very crucial for an entrepreneur to continue striving for a successful business enterprise.


Lay Down Clear Priorities:

Identify the most important priorities, and then distribute your time and resources appropriately The ability to prioritize things allows for more concentrated activity and reduces stress caused by conflicting demands.

2. 3. 4.

Define and Set Clear Boundaries:

It is important to establish clear boundaries between your personal life and your professional life, including certain work hours and times for leisure By effectively communicating boundaries, one may guarantee that they are respected by both coworkers and loved ones

Manage Your Time Efficiently:

Work should be prioritized according to importance and urgency, and productivity tactics should be used in order to achieve maximum efficiency Prevent yourself from multitasking, and make sure you schedule time for self-care and leisure activities

Prioritize Your Own Health:

It is important to maintain your physical, mental, and emotional well-being by engaging in regular physical activity, eating healthily, and getting sufficient rest In order to maintain total well-being, you should give activities that promote rest and rejuvenation a higher priority.

Participate in Activities of Leisure:

Engaging in hobbies and other leisure activities outside of work is a great way to relax and replenish your energy levels By participating in activities that provide pleasure, one might improve their work-life balance and contribute to a lifestyle that is more satisfying

Look for Able Assistance:

To alleviate stress and avoid exhaustion, it is important to delegate activities both at work and at home In order to give aid and direction when it is required, you should establish a support network consisting of friends, family, and coworkers

Take Advantage of Technology:

Utilize productivity tools and communication applications to improve cooperation and simplify work in order to achieve your goals Embracing technology not only makes work practices more efficient but also frees up more time for individuals to pursue their own interests

Create a Positive Workplace Environment:

Create a supportive organizational climate that places importance on the integration of work and personal life while also encouraging transparent communication and adaptability. Workplace positivity promotes health and wellness and facilitates a healthy work-life balance

Steer Clear of Overcommitment:

Acquire the skill of saying " no " to commitments that are too much for you by learning to set priorities and limits for yourself By learning to say " no, " entrepreneurs can keep their balance and focus on what's really important

Master the Art of Unwinding:

Daily routines should include the application of mindfulness and relaxation techniques in order to reduce tension and enhance mental clarity Engaging in relaxation techniques promotes the development of resilience and fosters a harmonious equilibrium between professional and personal life.

Long-term success and enjoyment for entrepreneurs depend on work-life balance

Entrepreneurs can reconcile company ownership with personal happiness and relationships by managing time, setting boundaries, and prioritizing self-care Professional and personal harmony prepares for business success

The Indigenous SME Magazine is a great resource for Canada's small Indigenous businesses, new and seasoned. Visit the website below to view our magazine. Click here to follow our X account for news updates. So what are you waiting for? Join our business-loving community for inspiration, motivation and growth. Work-Life
8. 9. 10.

Founder and Principal Consultant, Cree8ive Advisory

In an enlightening interview with Indigenous-SME Business Magazine, Jordan Wapass, founder of Cree8ive Advisory, unveils the driving forces behind his company ' s establishment and its mission Motivated by the desire to contribute to the $32 billion Indigenous businesses add to Canada's GDP annually, Jordan sees his work as an act of resistance against historical economic exclusion and a step towards decolonization Through Cree8ive Advisory, he leverages Indigenous epistemology to forge strategies that not only support Indigenous organizations but also promote respect, interconnectedness, and collaboration with non-Indigenous entities. His approach underscores the importance of holistic, humancentered methodologies in strategy and capacity building, embodying a commitment to innovation and community-focused entrepreneurship

Cree8ive Advisory: Blending Indigenous Knowledge with Modern Strategy

Jordan Wapass applies his management expertise to promoting growth and sustainability in Indigenous organizations

Mr. Wapass has a Master's Degree in Public Policy and Executive MBA from Simon Fraser University. He has been recognized as one of the institution's 50 most inspiring graduate students in the past 50 years. In 2022, he obtained his Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) designation through AFOA Canada.

With experience spanning executive leadership roles in First Nations governments and contributions as a Federal Government expert review panelist, Mr Wapass has a long history of providing strategic recommendations and advice to advance opportunities and capacity for Indigenous communities

As the founder of Cree8ive Advisory, Jordan specializes in strategy, communication, capacity building, and humancentered design

With a wealth of experience leading strategic initiatives and fostering innovation, Jordan has played a pivotal role in helping Indigenous communities navigate the complex landscape of economic development, community building, and sustainable growth. He has recently provided insight as Innovator in Residence at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology (SIIT), where his focus was on shaping mentorship and growth opportunities to bring innovative ideas to fruition.

Jordan is Cree and a proud member of Thunderchild First Nation in Treaty 6 territory.

What inspired you to start Cree8ive Advisory, and how have your experiences shaped its mission?

I think that’s the million dollar question Well, billion actually Research from the National Indigenous Economic Development Board indicates that Indigenous businesses contribute approximately $32 billion annually to Canada’s GDP Cree8ive Advisory is one of the businesses that is contributing to the economy And we ’ re proud of that

For generations, Indigenous people and businesses were intentionally excluded from participation in the economy, by design, through government policy and systemic racism. This has contributed to the lower socioeconomic and health outcomes Indigenous people disproportionately face today in this country due to the ongoing and destructive effects of colonialism

Starting and running Cree8ive, in my opinion then, is an act of resistance and contributes to decolonization when you recognize how this wasn’t an option that many Indigenous people had the opportunity to pursue

Further and perhaps most importantly, I’ve worked in First Nations as a senior leader, including my own nation, and with organizations across Canada and realized that I had a higher calling to help strengthen the Indigenous movement in this country in one of the best ways I knew I could – through strategy that is paired with my knowledge and direct experience working in First Nations at the grassroots level.

This has certainly helped shape the mission for Cree8ive We’ve worked hard to incorporate Indigenous epistemology (ways of knowing) in the work that we do This shines through in our methodology and approach to solution generation And we must be doing something right To date, we ’ ve been fortunate, and privileged, to have worked with many of the country’s National Indigenous Organizations (NIO) to support the design of their strategies that will guide their mandates over the next half 3-5 years and beyond

How does Cree8ive Advisory uniquely approach strategy and capacity building for Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations?

At Cree8ive Advisory, rather than using the word unique’ in terms of our approach, it is more accurate to say that we use methods that have been around for a very long time but have been overlooked In keeping with our belief in the inherent value of Indigenous ways of knowing, we take a holistic approach to our relationships with our clients. This begins with placing people at the forefront in collaborating with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations Regardless of what side of the treaty agreements you come from, we believe in starting from a foundation of respect and that the world we live in is interconnected and is embedded in relationality with the land, the water, air, and people This is in stark contrast to the historical experience Indigenous groups have had with the federal government, and the Indian Act where it’s been a top-down paternal approach through policy and services for Indigenous people It clearly hasn’t worked and will not as Indigenous nations pursue their own self-determination

In modern terminology, we employ humancentred methodologies to better position our learning for a more deeply human understanding of our clients. We feel that this approach translates to any organization looking to design a strategy that invites your team members, the most important asset of your organization, to know they have agency in the vision and future of the business. There’s a lot of value in empowering others and demonstrating a tangible commitment to collaboration in the journey. What does this mean? We spend more time on the user ’ s problem than most consultancies. That means engaging with the end user/citizen/patient/customer/client/guest etc. and really empathizing with them


Can you share an example of a project that exemplifies Cree8ive's impact on Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaboration?

We’ve worked with NIOs for the last 5 years in various capacities to support in strategic planning, have contributed to research for think tanks and journals, helped bring life to conceptual ideas to name a few and that has been extremely rewarding

One of the most important projects Cree8ive has had was working with the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology (SIIT) as the institute’s Innovator-in-Residence This opportunity provided me with the ability to share my story as an entrepreneur, to promote and inspire innovation within SIIT and to work closely with students who are looking to add to the $32 billion Indigenous business annual contribution to the country’s GDP

A key part of an entrepreneur’s life is networking and developing relationships As part of my mandate, I worked with the institution to introduce students to the local business community, an incubator and NIOs

My hope is that these relationships will continue to blossom and grow into more tangible business opportunities as the students build their businesses and expand their entrepreneurial journeys

How has your commitment to innovation and 'outside the box' thinking driven Cree8ive's success?

I don’t think it’s really a choice I don’t think you can survive as a consultancy with a traditional approach

Our goal is to pull organizations with us and help them drive new ideas and change their DNA to be more innovative and agile. Clients come to us because they’ve realized they hit the ceiling on a problem and need some outside thinking, if we came in with the same approach as they were doing, we’d be in trouble We exist because we are able to apply a potentially bolder approach, and it’s maybe easier for an outside consultancy to come in with new ideas vs someone who might be too afraid to suggest it

What key piece of advice would you give to aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs and leaders?

Not too sound altruistic, but do it for the right reasons Don’t worry, the money will always be there We have to keep our hearts focused on doing what’s right

There are finally a lot of forces working in our favour right now, the wind is at our back and we have to keep the ship pointed in the right direction We can all financially gain, but let’s not put that in place of what’s important.

I often have to remind myself of this as I navigate growth and potential projects But I was taught that we are all in this together, so I treat all my projects as helping my community

ImageCourtesy:Canva Interviews

In the swiftly changing landscape of digital media, James Jones, also known by his TikTok handle @notoriouscree, has emerged as a prominent Indigenous influencer and entrepreneur Originating from the Tall Cree First Nation near Edmonton, Alberta, Jones’ narrative is one of cultural resilience and a source of inspiration for Indigenous communities seeking to carve out a space in the digital ecosystem.

Amassing a following of over four million on TikTok, he infuses his content with an electrifying mix of hoop dancing, pow wow steps, and hip-hop, resonating a powerful connection to his Indigenous heritage His artistic expression has graced global stages, from the Winter Olympics to the Sydney Opera House, redefining Indigenous storytelling through movement and rhythm

At a TikTok Accelerator for Indigenous Creators event in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in November 2023, Jones joined a discussion highlighting the power of TikTok in breaking down traditional media barriers. He shared his early experiences with media misrepresentation following a pivotal victory in a breakdancing competition at 18.


Reflecting on a past interview, Jones shared, “They focused more on my struggles rather than the achievement Instead of ‘Indigenous Break-dancer Triumphs in Contest,’ the story was angled as ‘From Gangs to Glory.’ That was a turning point for me in understanding the power of owning one ’ s narrative.”

This spurred his advocacy for Indigenous self-representation, to counteract the often one-dimensional stories portrayed by mainstream outlets

Jones observed a seismic shift with the rise of digital platforms like TikTok, where Indigenous creators began sharing their own diverse and multifaceted stories, sometimes reaching wider audiences than traditional news outlets. “It’s transformative when the stories are coming directly from the source, from those with lived experiences, rather than an external narrative,” he said.

Off-camera, Jones dedicates his energy to community initiatives, touring North America to engage with young people about self-identity, ambition, and living healthily through cultural practices.

His entrepreneurial spirit was recently honored with the Shopify Entrepreneurial Spirit Award at the Pow Wow Pitch 2023 Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards For Jones, entrepreneurship represents a pathway to autonomy and cultural expression

“To me, entrepreneurship is fundamentally about freedom the freedom to define your own journey, to express yourself on your own terms, and the joy of being fully invested in your life’s work,” Jones articulates

James Jones stands as more than an artist or businessperson; he’s a pivotal figure in the redefinition of Indigenous presence in digital spaces. His ascent from the Tall Cree First Nation to an international TikTok sensation embodies the essence of selfexpression and cultural integrity. As he continues to motivate and empower the youth, Jones symbolizes the enduring impact of storytelling in preserving Indigenous traditions and the liberating potential of entrepreneurship.

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Geena Jackson: Championing Indigenous Economic Development Through Bears' Lair TV

Uplifting the Indigenous community in Canada has been on the agenda of many human rights leaders and entrepreneurs This is, in fact, the reason why women entrepreneurs like Geena Jackson are breaking the stereotypes and bridging gaps between opportunities and common people In the fields of media and Indigenous economic development, Geena Jackson is a huge influence and a force for change Geena Jackson, a dedicated supporter of Indigenous rights and the Creator and Executive Producer of Bears' Lair TV, has a significant influence that transcends the confines of her Shishalh Nation (Sechelt) community in British Columbia. Her unwavering commitment to promoting Indigenous entrepreneurship and enhancing the perspectives of Indigenous peoples has garnered her the honour of being named the Indigenous Businesswoman of the Month in March-April edition of the Indigenous SME Business Magazine

Business Woman of the Month

A Durable Legacy of Resistance and Empowerment

More than three decades ago, Geena Jackson embarked on her path to becoming a prominent figure in the field of Indigenous economic development Geena, who graduated from BCIT with a degree in Broadcast and Media Communications, initiated a professional trajectory that involved promoting business development and Indigenous rights across multiple platforms, including prestigious events such as the Vancouver Indigenous Film Festival Her extensive background in business and economic development for the Squamish Nation, in addition to her media roles, has endowed her with the expertise and resources necessary to empower Indigenous communities across the nation.

Creator and Executive Producer of BearsLair TV

Bears' Lair TV: Nationwide Empowerment of Indigenous Entrepreneurs

Central to Geena Jackson's endeavours is Bears' Lair TV, an innovative medium committed to bolstering Indigenous entrepreneurs at an unprecedented level across the nation Geena, in her capacity as the program ' s creator and a core juror, has led the way for two prosperous seasons, facilitating invaluable exposure, guidance, and development opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs Bears' Lair TV serves as a platform for Geena to not only advocate for Indigenous entrepreneurship but also provide contestants with the opportunity to vie for a $100,000 grand reward, thus stimulating the growth of Indigenous enterprises throughout Canada

Investing in the Next Generation:

Geena Jackson's dedication to the advancement of Indigenous economic development transcends her tenure at Bears' Lair TV; she actively fosters the development of future Indigenous leaders Geena, in recognition of the significance of imparting successoriented skills and mindsets to Indigenous youth, has founded the Bears' Lair Youth Dream Camps Empowering Indigenous youth aged 11 to 18 with entrepreneurship education, life skills, and success-oriented resources, these programs are conducted across the nation. By organizing and facilitating more than twenty-five programs in 2023 and forty more in 2024, Geena is influencing the future by enlightening, motivating, and elevating more than one thousand Indigenous youth throughout Canada

An inspiring example of how perseverance and foresight can change lives is Geena Jackson's meteoric rise from ardent activist to innovative businesswoman and media mogul. Geena has left an everlasting impression on Indigenous communities and the corporate world at large via her pioneering work with Bears' Lair TV and Bears' Lair Youth Dream Camps, which aims to empower and develop Indigenous people economically. Geena Jackson's story, as this month's Indigenous Businesswoman of the Month, exemplifies the strength and promise of Indigenous businesswomen around the globe.

Visit here to learn more about her inspiring journey.

The Indigenous SME Magazine is a great resource for Canada's small Indigenous businesses, new and seasoned Visit the website below to view our magazine. Click here to follow our X (Twitter) account for news updates. So what are you waiting for? Join our business-loving community for inspiration, motivation and growth

Geena Jackson is a proud member of the Shishalh Nation (Sechelt) and a passionate advocate for Indigenous Rights and self-determination. She is an entrepreneur and business leader with 25 years of experience that has worked for First Nation communities and Industry As an economic development officer for the Squamish Nation for 13 years, followed by executive positions with large Industry companies, Geena recognized that successful projects for Indigenous communities are founded on uniting three vital groups; Indigenous Communities, Industry Expertise and Government support systems Geena has helped over 800 Indigenous entrepreneurs build and grow their businesses and social enterprises through exceptional technical assistance to write and attain grant funding and access loans She is also the creator and host of the Bears Lair TV show on APTN which is dedicated to supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs on a National scale.

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International Women’s Day Celebrating 2024

As we gear up to commemorate International Women's Day 2024, our Indigenous SME Business Magazine embarks on a profound journey toward genuine inclusivity, rooted deeply in the principle of acceptance This endeavor is a continuous journey, necessitating our openness to embrace diversity in thoughts, genders, ethnicities, viewpoints, and connections By valuing and celebrating the myriad of cultures, beliefs, and identities that enrich our communities, we open the gateway to a promising future Elevating the role of women in every aspect of life not only enriches our communities but also advances our collective quest for a harmonious, equitable, and diverse world #InspireInclusion

This March, our magazine takes immense pride in highlighting the voices of distinguished women leaders and dignitaries, each contributing their unique messages of encouragement and empowerment for women everywhere Through their wisdom, we are reminded of the collective power embedded within our diverse backgrounds and the boundless opportunities that emerge from environments that cherish innovation and teamwork Let us draw inspiration from these influential voices to empower one another, ignite substantial change, and craft a legacy of inclusivity As we uplift the status and potential of women, we not only advance their cause but also propel our entire community towards a future where inclusivity and empowerment are interwoven into the fabric of our society

Together, let's champion #InspireInclusion and celebrate the progress it brings to us all.

Tabatha Bull

President and CEO, CCAB

Tabatha is Anishinaabe, a proud member of Nipissing First Nation Awarded CEO of the Year for 2022 by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Tabatha as CCAB’s president and CEO is committed to help rebuild and strengthen the path towards reconciliation and a prosperous Indigenous economy to benefit all Canadians. As an electrical engineer, Tabatha is committed to supporting Indigenous inclusion and diversity in Canada’s energy sector

Serving the Indigenous community through CCAB’s commitment to support the Indigenous economy, Tabatha is an appointee to many boards, including the Dexterra Group, Wigwamen Inc., Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and Catalyst CEO advisory board in Canada to name a few

Tabatha is dedicated to diversity and removing systematic barriers to improve opportunities for Indigenous business and women across all industry sectors.

Advancing Female Voices in Corporate Boards

Looking back, I suppose as a little girl and a teen I have always been an advocate In my high school in small town Ontario, I chose clubs such as the World Wildlife Fund and Amnesty International

Throughout my career, I have found myself “the only” at the table Manytimes I have expressed frustration about that, but now I am looking at it as a responsibility, a gift and an opportunity

Last year, I was named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN, and while I have never sought “ power ” , and am uncomfortable with attention for the sake of it, I am proud that I have taken up space when provided, particularly when women have typically been excluded with great intentionality.

We all see the situation improving, but I would challenge it is not at the rate that it would appear

Leading a national organization, provides another opportunity – responsibility – for me to lead I am proud to say that four of CCAB’s seven executive team members are Indigenous women, including a female CEO and COO, and that over 50% of our Board is female

We are also strategic in ensuring women have a strong voice throughout every event we host This May, CCAB is hosting our 40th anniversary with a national business forum, where we will feature a mainstage panel on female representation on corporate boards

It is not enough to recruit women to individual positions, we need to change the fabric of organizations, of tables and conversations and weave opportunities for women throughout

Celebrating International Women's Day 2024

Filomena Tassi

Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

The Honourable Filomena Tassi was first elected as Member of Parliament for the riding of Hamilton West Ancaster Dundas in 2015 She has previously served as Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Minister of Labour, and Minister of Seniors

Born and raised in Hamilton, Minister Tassi has been the voice of change for families in the city through a lifetime of commitment to her community

Minister Tassi obtained a Bachelor of Laws from Western University, and also holds a Master of Religious Education from the University of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto

Minister Tassi practised law for six years before leaving to raise her family She later became a high school chaplain for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. As chaplaincy leader, she helped establish the D.R.E.A.M.S. (Dominican Republic Education and Medical Support) program, which has enabled thousands of students to live and work with the materially poor in the Dominican Republic

From Dreams to Reality: Encouraging Women in Business

Driven by her profound sense of civic duty, Minister Tassi has been highly involved in her community She is a past board member of both St Joseph’s Hospital and the Catholic Youth Organization, and has volunteered her time with other local initiatives and organizations. Minister Tassi served as a Catholic school board trustee, and was the recipient of the 2010 Brian J Halferty Award, presented by the Catholic School Chaplains of Ontario for exemplary service

Southern Ontario is a thriving hub of innovation, and the impact of women-led enterprises cannot be overstated Women entrepreneurs create economic growth across our province with a unique perspective and approach to business. Women-owned small businesses contribute to the diversity and inclusivity of our local economy, fostering a rich blend of ideas and services that benefit us all

I have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the transformative power of women entrepreneurs across southern Ontario Their businesses create jobs, drive economic growth, and serve as role models for the next generation The women-led stores, restaurants, boutiques and shops that fill so many of our communities are creating local economic and employment opportunities When we support women-led enterprises, we invest in the future success of our communities

As we navigate the challenges of today's economic landscape, it is crucial that we continue to champion and uplift women in business The Government of Canada, led by Justin Trudeau, is committed to implementing policies that grow our economy, promote equality, provide access to resources like capital and networking opportunities, and remove barriers for women entrepreneurs

Together, we can foster an environment where every woman with a dream can turn a possibility into a reality.

Celebrating International Women's Day 2024

Stephanie Dexter

President, UPS Canada

Stephanie began her career in 1989 as a package handler in the Southeast California District She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Human Resources and operation assignments of increasing responsibility, leading to her promotion to Laguna Package Division Manager in 2007

After completing several rotations in hub, air, and package operations in the South California and Central California districts, she was promoted to package operations manager for the South California District in 2015

In 2016, Stephanie accepted the position of UK, Ireland, and Nordics District Package Operations Manager. She returned to the US in 2018 and after a short time in the Northeast District was promoted to president, Northern Plains District in May 2018 She accepted her current position in April 2021, marking her as the first female president for UPS in Canada.

Unstoppable Women: UPS's Support for Female Entrepreneurs

Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in economics from San Diego State University and a MBA with a concentration in finance from Louisiana State University, Shreveport She has completed Executive Development at Emory University as well as International Executive Development at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France

International Women's Day is more than just a date to me - it serves as a tribute to all the pioneering women who have forged their paths and opened doors for others Throughout my 35-year career at UPS, a typically male-dominated industry, I've seen women achieve remarkable milestones and secure positions at the top of our organization As UPS Canada's first female President, I can attest to this from personal experience Much like these businesswomen, female entrepreneurs with their determination, tenacity, resilience, and innovative spirit have emerged as a driving force in the Canadian economy.

I’m proud to say that at UPS, we put people first We love celebrating our diverse team and finding unique ways to lift each other We believe that by providing equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of gender, age, race, or background we can create a more inclusive and successful workplace Our Women’s Leadership Development group is just one of the many ways we are creating a more dynamic workplace Through this group, we are empowering women, and promoting their advancement within the company

We share that same commitment when supporting women- and diverse-owned businesses Many talented entrepreneurs don’t have access to the knowledge, capital, and networks they need to succeed For us, it’s not enough to say we support you We saw a need to help bridge the gender gap in export participation to help women-owned businesses grow So, we ’ ve partnered with Startup Canada to launch the Women Exporters Program This program provides education and resources to help women entrepreneurs expand into new markets Whether you ’ re starting or growing your business, were here to help make your business unstoppable.

Here’s my advice, be relentless and go after what you want, and listen when someone tells you, you are ready for the next step. Because when women thrive, we all benefit. #InsprieInclusion

Celebrating International Women's Day 2024

Faye Pang is the Canada Country Manager for Xero, the global small business platform with more than 395 million subscribers worldwide that’s dedicated to making business beautiful With a continued focus on the growth and expansion of local enterprise, Faye is passionate about building and growing resilient technology partnerships that work to benefit the global small business ecosystem Prior to joining Xero, Faye helped launch the Uber Eats app in Toronto in December 2015, scaling the business from 80 restaurants on launch day to 20,000 partners by the end of her tenure.

The Power of Curiosity in Teamwork and Business Success

March 8 has become a renowned day in the calendar year with awareness of and involvement in International Women’s Day growing every year. I see the day serving as an opportunity to take stock of everything we have achieved as a community. It’s a time to reflect, acknowledge, and celebrate the wins weve had

In fact, we ’ ve seen green shoots upon green shoots emerge at pace in recent times, possible because of the commitment and tenacity of all women before us As a sports enthusiast I can’t help but think about the FIFA Women’s World Cup which was held in Australia and New Zealand last year - the tournament broke broadcast records internationally Beyond the statistics, it was the stories of the players and the showcase of connection and trust that cast attention on what it means to be an elite teammate

Thinking more about teamwork, I wanted to share a few core themes that I believe are synonymous with experiences in a business setting:

Nurture inclusion - we ’ re better together Just like a team, trusting folks on your team is paramount and necessary for success.

Embrace the opportunity to challenge - certain rules or systems may be in place but there should always be room to question the way things work in the spirit of continuous improvement

Be curious, always - being open to learn and embracing varied views will help determine the appropriate path ahead

Whether you ’ re an owner/operator or a member of a team in an organization - the lessons we can learn from one another are limitless - let’s continue paving the way forward together

Celebrating International Women's Day 2024
Faye Pang Canada Country Manager, Xero

Founder, Impact Producer, Media Visionary, reGEN impact media

Charlene SanJenko is the Founder of reGEN impact media. She is an Indigenous Storyteller, Impact Producer, and Media Visionary, a pioneer in the emerging industry of impact entertainment reGEN impact media works on behalf of brands, investors, and storytellers with a common interest in media with vision to shift our future’s narrative Visit regenimpactmediacom to learn more

Inspiration Through Inclusion: Small Gestures, Big Impact

pe for a brighter future - a more inspiringly inclusive ture - starts with a strong BELIEF of what’s possible. It our imagination that FUELS that belief, and what we gest daily fuels our imagination

e act of inspiring inclusion becomes a habit as we E what’s possible when it is prioritized and practiced t’s break it down to daily bite-sized acts-of-awe to el our new habit:

ME: Who am I watching for today to celebrate? Who can I lift, support, or amplify? What if every encounter could be magical? Inspiring inclusion may be as simple as a smile, a text of acknowledgement, a thank you “I see you I hear you I raise my hands to you and all your greatness ”

WE: As we move throughout our meetings, conversations, presentations, and decisions this week, are we making space for all voices and perspectives? Are we listening more than we are talking? Are we leading with the question, ‘What might be possible?’

US: Collectively, our stories fuel what we believe is possible for humanity at this moment in history. Creating a world where everyone thrives begins with what we SEE daily and how we choose to respond to it

Media is the medicine we need to regenerate hope for our future. The stories we tell influence our future so let’s ensure they are inspiring inclusion.

Celebrating International Women's Day 2024

Beyond Boundaries: Empowering the Underrepresented

thing, life is a journey, and mine has e marked by twists and turns Though of being an entrepreneur, an ss led to an opportunity to do things étis-Cree, 2SLGBTQIA+ woman in demanded resilience and putting

EO of Virtual Gurus (VG), I’m proud ssistants are female, and several n sit on our leadership team. ng 51% of Canada’s population, only ed businesses receive venture VG focuses on providing those not getting jobs because of

ersonal mission to me. I am uring underrepresented individuals owcase their worth Each time one of all succeed Rejected 170 times, it was ed me I surrounded myself with who believed in me I hope that this repreneurs

authenticity, and empowerment are pursue our passions, refusing to be hindered by gender or inequality Inclusivity, to me, is mentorship, active listening and unwavering support It requires lifting those who may feel like giving up It’s surrounding ourselves with those who believe in our vision

As we approach International Women’s Day, I encourage you: Be bold Be brave Be you Everyone is unique Everyone has a story - share yours You never know who you might inspire

Celebrating International Women's Day 2024
Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business 2023

Pow Wow Pitch Inspires, Empowers, and Uplifts Indigenous Women

In a profound statement echoing the collective voice of Pow Wow Pitch, the Founder emphasizes the importance of women empowerment. "Its about more than just inviting women to the table; it's about empowering them to recognize their own worth and amplify their voices with confidence," expresses the visionary leader, Sunshine Tenasco

Michaelee Lazore, an Indigenous business owner and esteemed Pow Wow Pitch Alumni turned Board Director, reflects on the transformative journey "Pow Wow Pitch is an exemplary organization that not only supports entrepreneurs; it's a family where Indigenous women are celebrated for their strength and resilience across the entrepreneur ecosystem, " she shares passionately

y appointed Executive Director, Naomi , n how inclusivity in organizations is vital to fostering equity in the world; it’s about making a commitment to embracing the unique strengths of every woman. "To all women: I see you! Each of you have gifts to be shared, and together we can lead with our strengths to make a collective difference Lets build a legacy where every woman feels valued and uplifted," this is Naomi’s unwavering dedication as a leader in Indigenous entrepreneurship

Keely Thompson-Cook, a Mohawk woman from Akwesasne, ON, finding her footing through Pow Wow Pitch, adds a personal touch "My first employment opportunity after completing university was with Pow Wow Pitch; it has been a transformative experience that instilled in me a sense of pride and purpose as an Indigenous woman, " she reflects with gratitude, “and I want all women to see the positive impact of their unique strengths ”

Brett Burrow, an ally committed to the mission of Pow Wow Pitch, emphasizes the importance of collaboration and fostering meaningful relationships "Working at Pow Wow Pitch has taught me the significance of allyship in fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. Together with our partners, we amplify the voices of Indigenous women, " Brett affirms, highlighting the partnerships that fuel women ' s empowerment at Pow Wow Pitch

SunshineTenasco Founder, Pow Wow Pitch BrettBurrow, Program Coordinator for Pow Wow Pitch MichaeleeLazore Board Director, Pow Wow Pitch NaomiSarazin Executive Director, Pow Wow Pitch KeelyThompson-Cook Communications Coordinator, Pow Wow Pitch
Celebrating International Women's Day 2024

MINI TIPI is a Canadian brand which operates and manufactures its products locally in Gatineau, Canada. Setting itself apart by collaborating with Indigenous artists to create proper representation and celebrating Indigenous arts and cultures, MINI TIPI is changing the game by providing people with the opportunity to buy while appreciating culture with confidence. Through their artist royalty program and giveback initiatives, MINI TIPI has become leaders in artistic collaborations, community involvement, and local manufacturing

Co-founded in 2016 by Trisha Pitura, from Nipissing First Nation, and Melanie Bernard, from Quebec City of settler descent, MINI TIPI is shaped by their professional and personal experiences Finding the void of authentically designed Indigenous textiles back when starting their business has led them to create what we know MINI TIPI as today; an industry leading lifestyle brand that collaborates with Indigenous artists to design textiles to create high-quality products locally. The relationship between the two co-founders, as well as the


Elevate Embolden:

MINI TIPI's Founders' Formula

work their business accomplishes, exemplifies what a future of reconciliation can look like

When you are passionate about what you do and you are driven by making change there are no limits As leaders in the textile industry creating authentic Indigenous designs we continue to face the challenges of the manufacturing world and textile world We found our selves in an industry that was lead mostly by men and we needed to show thatwomen have the power to be exceptional leaders in the textile industry. Not only do we believe that representation matters for culture we also believe that more women need to be at the forefront of success and leaders in industries that have be predominantly represented by men We hope to break stereotypes and pave the way for future generations

As women we lead with values and relationship building and this is what guides our business and decisions for growth and change.We continue to support other women entrepreneurs and lift one another up. We need to show one another that by promoting inclusion and empowerment for women we can create a society that women feel empowered and can be recognized for their talents

As women we are adaptable and resilient and have the ability to adapt to situations and navigate challenges with resilience We are constantly innovating with continuous improvement in the face paced manufacturing world

Follow your dreams! Break glass ceilings and never ever let anyone tell you you can’t!

Celebrating International Women's Day 2024

Digital Transformation in Canadian SMEs:

Insights from Xero's Faye Pang


In a recent dialogue with CanadianSME Small Business Magazine, Faye Pang, the Canada Country Manager for Xero, shared enlightening perspectives on Xero's essential role within the Canadian SME landscape Emphasizing Xero's mission to simplify, smarten, and improve the lives of small businesses and their advisors globally, Faye Pang detailed the mutual benefits derived from Xero's longstanding partnership with CanadianSME This collaboration, particularly highlighted by Xero's sponsorship of significant small business awards, underscores a shared commitment to fostering the growth and recognition of small businesses across Canada. Through real-world success stories, like those of Goldilocks Goods and Micacchi Architecture, Faye showcased how Xero's platform and its focus on collaboration with accountants have enabled businesses to thrive. Moreover, addressing the potential overwhelm of digital transformation, Faye Pang highlighted how Xero facilitates the selection of valuable digital tools and integrations, simplifying this journey for SMEs and advocating for a partnership-driven approach to strategic decision-making

Faye Pang is the Canada Country Manager for Xero, the global small business platform with more than 3.95 million subscribers worldwide that’s dedicated to making business beautiful With a continued focus on the growth and expansion of local enterprise, Faye is passionate about building and growing resilient technology partnerships that work to benefit the global small business ecosystem Prior to joining Xero, Faye helped launch the Uber Eats app in Toronto in December 2015, scaling the business from 80 restaurants on launch day to 20,000 partners by the end of her tenure

Faye, as CanadianSME Small Business Magazine's exclusive accounting software partner for the past three years, Xero has played a pivotal role in our mission to support small businesses across Canada. Can you share how Xero views this partnership and its significance in supporting the SME landscape in Canada?

Xero’s purpose is to make life better for people in small business, their advisors, and communities around the world, and our mission is to rewire the world of small business to make it seamless, simpler, and smarter The synergies between CanadianSME and Xero’s purpose are clear which is what has made this partnership so impactful

When I think about significant moments, one in particular comes to mind The 2023 Small Business Awards - not only being able to sponsor the Technoprenueur category but also getting to spend the evening alongside all the finalists Our team met so many incredible people that evening, connections that have extended into 2024 This year, we are incredibly proud to sponsor the Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year award It’s so important to acknowledge the important impact SMEs have in their local communities and the awards do just that


Can you share a success story of a Canadian small business that has thrived by leveraging Xero’s platform?

When I think about Xero’s impact as a platform and tool for small business - cash flow visibility is a core item that pops up Two examples of small business customers that have shared how Xero has positively impacted their operations

Amy and Brett from Goldilocks Goods - Their mission is to tackle plastic pollution around the world. Brett took Amy’s work from the first six months of running her business as a sole proprietor, put it into spreadsheets, and gave it to their accountant who put it straight into Xero. They say they’ve never looked back They review month over month income statements and use this information to assess where they are spending money and where they might need to reallocate. They also integrate apps with their account so they track every single sale - providing a fulsome report come year end.

Rob from Micacchi Architecture - After years of experience working at established firms, Rob launched his own venture in 2018. In the early days Rob operated out of spreadsheets, then he moved to another online accounting platform before moving to Xero. Rob works incredibly closely with his accountant, David. Together they create custom reports that show the cash flow in and out of the business and they also have full visibility on the accounts receivable and invoices owed, and can send payment reminders.

Xero places a strong emphasis on collaboration with accountants and bookkeepers. How does this partnership model benefit small businesses, and what tools does Xero provide to facilitate this collaboration?

That’s correct - we believe in the power of collaboration between a small business and their advisor and the evolution of their relationship In fact, we surveyed hundreds of accountants and bookkeepers last year and found that while compliance and payroll services remain prominent, there has been a rise in advisory - giving strategic advice based on data. 41% of practices now offer this service for small businesses.

41-IndigenousSMEMarch-April2024 Interviews

By utilizing digital tools like Xero, small businesses and their advisors are able to make strategic decisions together I like to think of it like a ship at sea - a small business can have the right equipment, the momentum of the wind and be able to weather storms but without a map, it’s going to be a little tougher Xero provides that map view - so you can make navigation decisions, even better if you can do it with an accountant or bookkeeper, think of them as the local captain who’s navigated that area their whole life.

Could you give an example of how this collaborative approach has led to significant improvements for a business?

I’d like to bring up Rob from Micacchi again He and his accountant, David, connect every month With the realtime financial insights provided by Xero supported by consultation from David, Rob is able to make more informed financial decisions with confidence, including hiring staff and transitioning to new office space to support the firm’s growth

With over 1000 third-party apps that Xero connects with, how do you ensure these integrations add value to small businesses without overwhelming them with too many options?

That’s a great question A couple of years ago we conducted a study around the barriers that stop small businesses from adopting technology and choice paralysis was one of the core reasons why Canadian small businesses don’t

We aim to make the choice process a little easier by focusing on the App Store user experience We have different “categories” and “filters” which allow users to easily navigate to the solution that is suitable to them. For example, you can select CRM for the Hospitality industry, then app suggestions will pop up. We also have collections on the Xero App Store, such as 'Get started with apps ' , featured apps, new and noteworthy, and apps to help with core workflows i e scheduling

Much like other app stores, the influence of community is really important Folks are able to rate and provide feedback, so users can refer to other small businesses and their feedback about what works best for them

Can you highlight one or two integrations that are particularly beneficial for Canadian SMEs?

Most certainly There are two in particular I’d like to highlight. First, payments solutions provided through partners such as Stripe (credit cards), GoCardless (account to account transfers) and PayPal or Calgarybased Helcim, DirectPay for Interac Second, digital payroll solutions - Wagepoint, Payment Evolution, Rise, Payworks

Lastly, what advice would you give to small business owners in Canada who are considering digital transformation, particularly in their accounting practices?

If you ’ re a micro-business - perhaps starting as a side hustle, keep things as digital as you can for instance taking photos of receipts So as you grow you ’ ve already nurtured this behaviour - it’ll be second nature

If you ’ re a larger business - harness the insights Xero provides and lean into your relationship with your accountant or bookkeeper. The benefit of a platform like Xero is that it gives you data that your advisor can refer to - giving you both room to have productive and strategic conversations


Partnership with a Purpose

“Without a proper intervention, 80% of our indigenous youth in Canada will become type two diabetics ”

That stark statistic is how Mick Lautt describes the reality faced by thousands of people living in first nations communities.

“We should be running out of the room with our hair on fire I don't know why it's not on every agenda,” he adds

Lautt is the CEO of Scimar, a bio-research company developing products designed to end the type 2 diabetes epidemic And to do that, he’s partnered with first nations communities across Manitoba

“When I first met with Mick, I recognized a lot of synergy between the work that he was doing, and the work we are doing back home to overcome the challenges that we ' re facing with diabetes,” recalls Chief Derek Nepinak, chief of the Minegozhiibe

Anishinabe (Pine Creek First Nation )

“I brought in our economic development group and the rest of my leadership council,” says Nepinak “We talked about what we could do to feed that synergy and actually build a relationship out of it That's how we started ”

The synergy between Scimar and first nation communities has taken decades to develop. In the 1990’s Lautt was working with indigenous youth in Winnipeg He ran a program to engage with them after school and reduce the sky-high dropout rates Later, he ran experiential adventure based learning programs Those involved taking vulnerable youth canoeing and camping, teaching them life and social skills, while using the natural environment as a classroom

“The wilderness can be a really unforgiving teacher If there is a storm coming, and one of the campers doesn’t want to set up their tent properly, they are going to have to deal with some very real consequences, ” says Lautt “There is nothing fake or forced about that They are learning that all their choices have real consequences ”

While designing and running the program, Lautt worked alongside elders and community leaders from around Manitoba for many years. That experience, and that commitment, meant that when Mick approached the community about being financial investors, he was seen as a trusted ally, not an outsider


“The relationship between Derek and I, and between his community and Scimar is unique,” said Lautt at a recent event where Scimar was named ‘Emerging Company of the Year’ by the Bioscience Association of Manitoba “The Pine Creek First Nation is a financial partner, but more importantly a strategic partner Working with them, we will be able to support restorative programs to the people who can benefit the most from them ”

“This is a first in Manitoba effort,” Lautt continued. “It will demonstrate that we can deliver an intervention to a singular community today and expand it to other communities as we grow ”

Bringing the Team up to Speed

There is more to Scimar than just Mick Lautt. The company has a strong team and a dozen contractors and specialists spread across the country. For this partnership to be effective, every one of them needs to understand the realities faced by indigenous people today That’s why Scimar is working with Legacy Bowes through their “Truth2Action” program

Legacy Bowes is an indigenous owned Human Resources consulting company based in Winnipeg Their Truth2Action program is designed for businesses interested in increasing their awareness and knowledge The goal is for employees to gain insights into the modern and historical realities faced by the indigenous people in Canada and learn how they can improve their operations to support reconciliation efforts

In Scimar’s case this means understanding the complicated history of internal and external health care systems that operate in first nation communities Understanding that context is crucial for this effort to be successful.

“The program provides three things,” says Lautt. “It teaches essential historical knowledge, skills and techniques so that we can have meaningful conversations about bias, discrimination, and racism in our workplaces, and lays out a clear and actionable plan for actually doing something productive ”

Funding for this training is coming from another of Scimar’s partners, the accounting software company Xero Xero recently awarded Scimar a cash grant for upskilling through their Beautiful Business Fund.

This ongoing commitment to communication, and a willingness to listen and learn is a big reason why a number of other first nations communities are now considering investing in and partnering with Scimar

“We recently made an investment in Scimar to support the work that they're doing towards finding solutions to overcome the epidemic of diabetes that's happening in our community,” says Chief Nepinak “And we look forward to working closely with them moving forward ”

In 2023, Mick Lautt (left) was invited to participate in a Community Powwow with the Minegoziibe Anishinabe (Pine Creek First Nation ) He was welcomed to the circle as an honorary guest of Chief Derek Nepinak (right )

Anne Harding: Pioneering Indigenous Relations through Forum Community Relations Inc.

In the landscape of community relations and reconciliation, Anne Harding shines as a beacon of change and empowerment Anne, who is based in Calgary and serves as the proprietor of Forum Community Relations Inc , has devoted her professional trajectory to cultivating substantive involvement, reconciliation, and rapport-building, with a specific focus on Indigenous communities throughout Canada By virtue of her exceptional combination of knowledge, practical experience, and fervour, Anne's leadership personifies an allegiance to constructive societal transformation and allencompassing discourse

Building Bridges through Meaningful Engagement:

Since the inception of Forum Community Relations Inc , Anne Harding has been committed to fostering understanding and connection between Indigenous and nonIndigenous communities. Anne has worked with more than eighty Indigenous organizations and communities to promote educational initiatives, community engagement, and economic development with an emphasis on mutual understanding and constructive discourse Anne facilitates an environment that promotes collaborative efforts and transparent dialogue, enabling communities to actively participate in the development of solutions that value the hopes and perspectives of Indigenous peoples

Promoting Inclusion and Reconciliation:

Anne Harding's profound dedication to reconciliation and Indigenous inclusion forms the bedrock of her mission Anne's consulting practice is informed by both academic rigour and practical expertise, as evidenced by her IAP2 Certified Public Participation Professional designation and Master of Arts in Corporate-Aboriginal Relations Her positions as Vice Chair of the Indigenous Gathering Place Society of Calgary and Board Director supporting Indigenous inclusion for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce serve to emphasize her commitment to establishing forums that facilitate the gathering of Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals for the purpose of connecting, celebrating, and exchanging Indigenous cultures Anne's leadership and advocacy serve as catalysts for dialogues and initiatives that advance the causes of reconciliation, revitalization, and comprehension

Harding Owner of Forum Community Relations

Empowering Communities for Positive Change:

Anne Harding's influence transcends her consulting endeavours and incorporates a dedication to empowering communities in their pursuit of constructive transformation Anne utilizes her erudition as a volunteer juror for the IAP2 Core Values Awards and former president of IAP2 Canada to advocate for optimal approaches to community engagement and public participation Furthermore, her unpaid service to the Indigenous Gathering Place Society of Calgary serves as a prime example of her commitment to grassroots endeavours that elevate the voices and aspirations of Indigenous peoples Anne enables organizations and individuals to navigate the intricacies of reconciliation and Indigenous relations with integrity, compassion, and regard via Forum Community Relations’ training offerings, each delivered by both Indigenous and Settler trainers whose lived experiences serve to illuminate the path toward reconciliation in meaningful ways

Anne Harding's leadership in the domain of community relations and reconciliation serves as a testament to the efficacy of discourse, comprehension, and cooperation. Anne has spearheaded pioneering strategies at Forum Community Relations Inc. that aim to facilitate substantive participation, advocate for reconciliation, and empower communities to effectuate constructive transformations. By persistently fostering dialogue and understanding and bridging divisions, Anne's legacy continues to motivate organizations and individuals dedicated to constructing a society that is more equitable and inclusive.

Take a tour of the official website by clicking here to learn more about the solutions and services

The Indigenous SME Magazine is a great resource for Canada's small Indigenous businesses, new and seasoned. Visit the website below to view our magazine. Click here to follow our X account for news updates So what are you waiting for? Join our business-loving community for inspiration, motivation and growth

Anne Harding is the Owner of Forum Community Relations, a Calgary based consulting company dedicated to catalyzing better communities through Indigenous relations and community engagement. In her 20 years of experience as a community and Indigenous engagement professional, she has engaged with over 85 Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada Anne volunteers as Vice Chair of the board of the Indigenous Gathering Place Society of Calgary and as a director of the Calgary Chamber board, where she chairs the Governance & HR Committee and is a member of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility sub-committee Anne’s work and volunteer experiences have resulted in a distinctive and sought after ability to create and navigate ethical spaces between Indigenous and Western Ways of Knowing

ImageCourtesy:ForumCommunityRelations ImageCourtesy:ForumCommunityRelations

Laurie Sterritt: Promoting Diversity, Inclusion

and Reconciliation

in Executive Search

Laurie Sterritt is widely recognized in the executive search industry for her commitment to driving change and promoting inclusivity Laurie, the Founding CEO and Managing Partner of Pathways Executive Search brings a wealth of experience in Indigenous, government, and community relations to her role, with over three decades of experience in operational and leadership roles in the natural resources and not-for-profit sectors Laurie is deeply committed to driving economic and social transformation through collaborative partnerships. Her leadership style is focused on promoting diversity, inclusion and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples across the corporate landscape in Canada and internationally Discover the remarkable journey and meaningful initiatives led by Laurie Sterritt and her team at Pathways Executive Search

CEO and Managing Partner at Pathways Executive Search

Transforming Dreams into Tangible Results

Pathways Executive Search (Pathways) was founded with a clear vision in mind: to create lasting impact on the economy and society via greater inclusion and participation of Indigenous peoples and diverse candidates at the most senior levels of boards, companies, governments, and communities Laurie Sterritt, along with a dedicated professional team, has consistently transformed this vision into concrete achievements

Laurie says, “The Pathways team has consistently paved the way for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion across different sectors and we are proud to say that we ’ ve placed more than 300 Indigenous and diverse candidates in executive and board positions in the past six years ”


Changing the Face of Leadership

Diversity is more than just a catchphrase at Pathways; it's a core value that permeates every recruiting process The firm is widely recognized for its exceptional ability to attract and recruit Indigenous talent, rooted in a deep understanding and appreciation of different cultures Laurie Sterritt and her team are dedicated to transforming leadership landscapes and advocating for increased Indigenous representation in the highest levels of power and decision-making

“Our clients include governments, businesses, community and not-for-profit organizations,” says Laurie “The Pathways team supports clients to fulfill their varying commitments whether this is toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples or creating more equitable and inclusive workplaces, our mission is to nurture diverse perspectives and leadership that mirrors the vibrant fabric of society ”

Collaborating with Communities and Clients Care

Pathways Executive Search is dedicated to establishing trust, cultivating genuine connections, and achieving concrete outcomes The firm operates with a strong foundation in Indigenous values and principles of inclusion

“The Pathways team consistently upholds traditional values and brings respect, integrity and humility, to every project while ensuring that the recruitment process is both professional and culturally sensitive,” adds Laurie. “With a proven track record of successful executive and board placements, the team places a high priority on understanding the distinct needs of both clients and candidates ”

Clearly, Pathways is dedicated to making a positive impact wherever they operate This includes reducing fees for Indigenous communities, fostering corporate reconciliation, and nurturing Indigenous and diverse leadership talent. They approach each endeavor with care, diligence, and a genuine desire to bring about meaningful change

At Pathways, Laurie Sterritt's leadership embodies a dedication to quality, diversity, and inclusiveness in executive recruiting. Laurie's visionary approach and unwavering dedication are paving the way for a more equitable and representative future in Corporate Canada and beyond For more information on Pathways solutions and services, check out their official website here

The Indigenous SME Magazine is a great resource for Canada's small Indigenous businesses, new and seasoned Visit the website below to view our magazine Click here to follow our X account for news updates. So what are you waiting for? Join our business-loving community for inspiration, motivation and growth.

A values-based leader with more than 30 years’ experience in the fields of Indigenous, government, and community relations, Laurie is passionate about creating economicand social changewith the participation of companies, governments, and communities that have normally been at odds. Laurie has spent her career influencing diversity and inclusion within corporate Canada and inspiring connections that lead to balanced and thoughtful partnerships between Industry and Indigenous communities


The paths of Lesley Hampton, a fashion designer, and Mallory Yawnghwe, the visionary founder and CEO of Indigenous Box, intersect in a unique fusion of cultural influence and entrepreneurial prowess These influential Indigenous women carry with them a vigor that transcends the realms of commerce and couture; they embody a profound mode of cultural narration and conservation.

In the chilly November of 2023, they convened in Winnipeg, Manitoba, during a TikTok Accelerator for Indigenous Creators gathering Hampton, actively engaged in the initiative, and Yawnghwe, who steered a compelling panel on the resonance of Indigenous storytelling and TikToks role in dismantling media barriers for Indigenous voices

The stories of Hampton and Yawnghwe symbolize a larger shift among Indigenous entrepreneurs and creators who are seizing control of their stories and carving out a definition of triumph on their own terms They’re dismantling archaic stereotypes, opening new doors, and most vitally, lighting the way for their communities to envision and transgress limits

Hampton’s design ethos is a heartfelt ode to her Anishinaabe and Mohawk lineages, harmoniously woven with modern design principles Her global upbringing led to a profound reconnection with her Indigenous identity upon her return to Canadian soil at 18

“My aim is to channel a constructive narrative through the medium of fashion,” shares Hampton. “This is channeled through my brand which champions mental health awareness, celebrates all body types, and insists on genuine Indigenous representation.”

Her dedication is mirrored in her diverse model selection, challenging the status quo of the fashion realm The impact is evident: her designs have graced the Golden Globes Red Carpet, made waves at Indigenous Fashion Week in Toronto and strutted the runways at London Fashion Week. She also brought her vision to the Toronto Raptors for their Indigenous Heritage Month Campaign, collaborating with fellow Indigenous creatives

Mallory Yawnghwe’s Indigenous Box is a beacon of Indigenous entrepreneurial spirit, merging commerce with cultural influence Situated near the Edmonton International Airport, Mallory aspires to transform Edmonton into a central hub for Indigenous businesses and supply networks, fuelling the broader Indigenous economic landscape

Reflecting a near $50 billion contribution to Canada’s GDP by Indigenous entities in 2020, as reported by Statistics Canada, Indigenous Box is an integral part of this economic fabric, linking over 300 Indigenous suppliers with clientele across 27 nations

“Our parcels find their way across the globe from homemade soaps to beads crafted in grandmothers’ living rooms, these artisanal works are showcased in boutiques from Paris to New Zealand,” Mallory emphasizes, underscoring the international footprint of Indigenous artisanship

Hampton and Yawnghwe’s endeavors reach far beyond their individual business accomplishments They are paving avenues for coming generations of Indigenous women, showcasing that it’s feasible to cherish one ’ s story while making substantial progress in contemporary society Their achievements offer a beacon of aspiration and a deep sense of pride for Indigenous communities, evidencing the potency of determination, imagination, and a profound bond with ancestral roots.

The strides that Lesley Hampton and Mallory Yawnghwe are making stand as a testament to the transformative power of business when interlaced with community, heritage, and inclusivity, rewriting stories and sculpting a more just future

50-IndigenousSMEMarch-April2024 E-commerce

Revolutionizing Clean Beauty:

The Story of Nancy and Anthony Wingham, Founders of Nuez Acres

Indigenous traditions have a rich tapestry of skincare secrets and elixirs so potent and effective that were used by Indigenous women to maintain their youth and glowing skin Anthony Wingham, together with his wife Nancy, set out on a mission to revolutionize the world of beauty by utilizing the incredible potential of pecan oil through their esteemed company, Nuez Acres Their dedication to sustainability, ethical practices, and respect for traditional farming methods distinguish them in the beauty industry Through this article, the Indigenous SME Magazine delves into the motivation and inspiration behind this skincare brand and how Nancy and Anthony are managing this successful business

From Farm to Bottle: A Sustainable Journey

Nancy's background growing up on a Mexican farm fostered a strong admiration for traditional farming methods This foundation established the basis for Nuez Acres, where every pecan is cultivated and carefully selected in her father's orchard in Mexico, following sustainable practices Through meticulous processing in British Columbia, every product is crafted with a focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility. With a strong focus on sustainable sourcing and production methods, Nuez Acres is dedicated to delivering top-notch products while also championing local farmers and encouraging eco-conscious practices, specifically on the conservation of water in the Beauty Industry

Building a Legacy of Innovation and Family

The establishment of Nuez Acres was driven by a desire to not only establish a business, but also to create a lasting legacy for their daughter, Sophia, and future generations. Drawn by her family's business acumen and motivated by a yearning for independence and adaptability, Nancy and Anthony recognized a chance to revolutionize the beauty sector Through the use of pecan oil, an underutilized resource in skincare, they have developed a distinctive product line that addresses a specific need in the market Their journey as co-founders showcases the strength of working together, bouncing back from challenges, and striving towards a common goal


Advocating for Change: More Than Just Skincare

Nuez Acres is not only a pioneer in skincare products but also a force for transformation in the beauty sector With a strong commitment to sustainability and ethical practices, the company is dedicated to promoting a waterless beauty mission By challenging industry norms, they are leading the way towards a more eco-conscious future Their entrepreneurial journey highlights the significance of staying determined, being flexible, and having the bravery to question conventional norms. With Nuez Acres, Nancy and Anthony are dedicated to offering consumers high-quality products that are both effective and environmentally conscious while also spearheading a shift toward a more sustainable and ethical beauty industry

The entrepreneurial trajectory of Nancy and Anthony Wingham, as expressed through Nuez Acres, exemplifies the convergence of innovation, sustainability, and tradition. Through their commitment to tradition, receptivity to new ideas, and dedication to driving progress, they have not only achieved remarkable success in their business but also established a powerful platform for making a significant difference in the beauty industry. With the growing importance placed on sustainability and ethical practices, Nuez Acres emerges as a shining example, providing products that are not only beneficial for the skin but also for the environment.

Check out Nuez Acres’ range of skincare products on the official website by clicking here.

The Indigenous SME Magazine is a great resource for Canada's small Indigenous businesses, new and seasoned Visit the website below to view our magazine Click here to follow our X account for news updates So what are you waiting for? Join our business-loving community for inspiration, motivation and growth

52-IndigenousSMEMarch-April2024 Sustainability

Anthony Wingham

Anthony Wingham, a driven entrepreneur and beauty pioneer, is reshaping thepersonal care landscape with Nuez Acres, a company he co founded with his wife, Nancy Their mission : tooffer natural,sustainable alternatives to convent iona l beauty products Anthony ' s groundbreaking concept of water less beauty, infused with pure pecan oil, is catalyzing a profound shift in the industry.

His fervor for crafting eco- luxe products at affordable pricesinspires a global community to embrace greener lifestyles alongsideNuez Acres

Beyond his entrepreneuria l endeavors, Anthony dedicates his timeto mentoring Indigenous youthand cherishes moments with his family, embodying his commitment to both community and kin

Nancy Wingham

Nancy Wingham is a passionate entrepreneur and co-founder of Nuez Acres, a company committed to promoting sustainable and environmentally-friendly beauty practices Born and raised in Chihuahua, Mexico, Nancy brought her unique perspective and cultural heritage to Canada when she immigrated in 2007

In only a few short years, Nancy has made a name for herself in the beauty industry by co-founding Canada's only Indigenous Pecan Oil Skincare line. Through her work at Nuez Acres, Nancy has demonstrated a keen understanding of the need for more responsible water use and conservation practices in the beauty industry.

A skilled salesperson, Nancy has been instrumental in growing Nuez Acres into an award-winning beauty brand with a bright future. She has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to product development, marketing, and sales strategy, and is always looking for ways to innovate and stay ahead of the curve

Nancy is devoted to her family and is a dedicated parent that strongly believes in the importance of balancing work and family life

Whether she is attending a trade show, promoting the Nuez Acres brand, or spending time with loved ones, Nancy always brings her passion and dedication to everything she does


Her Wealth, Her Way:

Personal Finance and Investment Strategies for Indigenous Women

Aiming to empower people and companies on their path to economic stability and success, Indigenous women are entering the field of financial planning entrepreneurship in today's changing financial environment It is a known fact that female professionals are underpaid and face more income disparities and workplace gender discrimination than their male counterparts Thus, it becomes imperative that women get proper training in financial planning and investment This article delves into the specific obstacles and possibilities encountered by Indigenous women in the financial planning domain, providing practical advice and valuable perspectives for those who aspire to create a significant difference

Exploring the Financial Planning Landscape

The financial planning landscape offers a broad range of services designed to cater to the unique requirements of clients Indigenous women entrepreneurs have the chance to build businesses that offer financial expertise and promote empowerment and resilience in their communities They can provide personal financial coaching and develop comprehensive business financial strategies Through a deep understanding of financial planning, Indigenous women have the power to make a significant impact and foster economic growth within their communities.


Developing Proficiency in Financial Planning

Achieving success in financial planning Having a strong grasp of financial knowledge and expertise is crucial when it comes to starting a business It is highly recommended for Indigenous women who want to excel in this field to prioritize ongoing education, seek out relevant certifications, and actively participate in professional development opportunities Through the development of their skills and the demonstration of their expertise, Indigenous women entrepreneurs have the opportunity to establish themselves as trusted advisors and valuable resources within their communities There are numerous real-life instances of Indigenous women who have successfully turned their dedication to financial empowerment into flourishing consulting enterprises These women serve as a source of inspiration for others who are embarking on a similar path

Navigating Regulatory Landscape and Overcoming Gender Biases

Indigenous women in financial planning encounter significant hurdles in navigating the regulatory landscape and addressing gender biases It is crucial for Indigenous women entrepreneurs to have a thorough understanding of the legal and ethical obligations that govern their profession By doing so, they can ensure that their business practices are in line with the necessary regulations and maintain a high level of integrity In addition, within a field that has historically been dominated by men, Indigenous women face challenges due to gender biases and stereotypes that can hinder their advancement

Effective strategies for addressing these biases involve promoting gender equality, fostering robust support networks, and setting a positive example through exceptional performance and professionalism Through their adept handling of regulatory complexities and their unwavering determination to challenge gender norms, Indigenous women have the power to foster greater inclusivity and diversity in the financial planning sector

By understanding the nuances of financial planning, building expertise, navigating regulatory challenges, and overcoming gender biases, Indigenous women entrepreneurs can establish themselves as leaders and catalysts for change within variegated industries. Indigenous women can employ financial planning to create long-term wealth and success if they are persistent, determined, and committed to doing their best

The Indigenous SME Magazine is a great resource for Canada's small Indigenous businesses, new and seasoned. Visit the website below to view our magazine. Click here to follow our X account for news updates. So what are you waiting for? Join our business-loving community for inspiration, motivation and growth

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