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From June 3rd to 5th the Global Conference on Indigenizing Entrepreneurship, “Brought experts from across Canada and around the world together to share best practices, compelling stories and crucial insights on how Indigenous values, histories and ways of knowing can transform entrepreneurial thinking.” The conference was held in Ottawa on the unceded territories of the Algonquin and Anishinaabe.

Sakatay Global was honoured to be chosen as one of the presenters on a panel examining self-determination and cultural sovereignty in entrepreneurship with Taryn Hamilton from Otahpiaaki. Shannon spoke about the Indigenous Circle Approach to Cultural Confidence™ as a framework for empowering Indigenous communities and building relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and organizations. Taryn from Otahpiaaki gave an informative presentation about intellectual property rights and the need to engage with Indigenous communities to ensure that Indigenous creators and their work are protected.

The Tuesday morning presentation by Leo Dana, Entrepreneurship among Sami and its Relevance to Aboriginal Canadians, encouraged participants to think more broadly about entrepreneurship and the concept of profit by examining the social and cultural importance of reindeer herding, a typically “low-profit” venture, on Sami communities. For those wondering, Sami people are the Indigenous peoples of the European Union located in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia.

We sat in on a great panel discussion that brought attention to some of the barriers Indigenous peoples may face in their entrepreneurial journeys and in accessing resources and support for their organizations. One of the key takeaways from this presentation was that although there are numerous challenges and barriers, Indigenous peoples have always found many creative solutions that benefit their businesses and their communities.

The conference also had presentations by Maori researchers from New Zealand where we learned so much about entrepreneurship from a Maori perspective including research and design that is unique to the Maori people and is grounded in Maori values and worldview. It was an amazing opportunity meet with Maori friends and we look forward to reconnecting at the World Indigenous Business Forum in New Zealand this fall!