Instructors and Guest Speakers
We are proud to have partnered with the Canadian Centre for Aboriginal Entrepreneurship (CCAE) to deliver the accelerator training program of “Reaching Our Potential”. Over the past 25 years, CCAE has assisted over 3,500 entrepreneurs in Canada and the Caribbean on the road to successful self-employment.
*** Keynote Speaker Just Added! ***
A business woman, artist and influencer based out of Kamloops who prides herself and her business in “creating Indigenous designs that unapologetically take up space and decolonize the fashion industry”. She is a Secwepemc mother, full-time Bachelor of Education student, self-taught seamstress, artist, and designer; she is an entrepreneur.
Our keynote speaker is none other than Ashley Michel, owner and artist of 4 Generations Creations! She has grown her business through TikTok and Instagram, and she’s reached over 25K followers in one year. She’s known for her beautiful ribbon skirts (which always sell out), and she has designed apparel that embraces and promotes reconciliation and representation of Indigenous peoples. To leanr more on Ashley click here.
Chief Patrick Michell
Panelist, “Reaching Our Potential, Building Our Community”, Entrepreneurship Program Launch Session Saturday, January 29, 2022
Kokpi Patrick Michell is a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation and has lived in British Columbia’s Fraser Canyon all of his life. He graduated from high school in 1983 with high academics and at age 18 he left Lytton to pursue post-secondary education. He initially enrolled himself at University of British Columbia (UBC) where he struggled with homesickness and urban cultural shock. So, he decided to return home to recover and after working in service industry for three years, Patrick came back to the city with a renewed motivation and passion for higher education. This time he completed his Administrative Management Diploma from Douglas College in New Westminster and received a Bachelor of Law from UBC.
After working in Vancouver with DFO and INAC, Patrick articled with the Ministry of Attorney General in Victoria and Richards Buell Sutton in Vancouver before been called to the Bar in 1997. He practiced law in the Fraser Canyon until 2005 after which he became a Community Liaison for the Kwoiek Hydro Project. The Liaison role transitioned into the Community Economic Development Officer after the Kwoiek Hydro Project was completed in January 2014. With the retirement of Chief James Frank in Spring of 2015, Patrick became the Kokpi, as per Kanaka’s custom, in the community’s first election in over 30 years. As a Kokpi, Patrick has led numerous community-based initiatives aimed at making his community self-sufficient, sustainable, and vibrant. His vision, efforts and hard work have led Kanaka Bar to receive recognition at a local, regional, national, and international levels. Chief Patrick has been recognized by several provincial and national prestigious awards for his exceptional contribution and work to date, including the most recent Clean50 lifetime achievement award.
Learn more about Chief Patrick Michell and his work here
Panelist, “Reaching Our Potential, Building Our Community” , Entrepreneurship Program Launch Session Saturday, January 29, 2022
Nicole McLaren is a multi-award-winning Métis entrepreneur from British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Her extensive knowledge of industry supply chains and economic development coupled with a passion for supporting fellow Indigenous entrepreneurs allowed her to transform a small book club into Raven Reads, the world’s first Indigenous subscription box. Through her hard work and ambition, Raven Reads has grown exponentially, with thousands of
subscribers across Canada, the US, and Europe. Once a sole proprietor, curating and packaging boxes in her garage, Nicole now manages an elite team and operations out of their Kamloops warehouse and distribution centre.
Nicole is the recipient of Startup Canada’s National Indigenous Business of the Year (2018) and
the BC Achievement Foundation’s Indigenous Business of the Year (2020). She was also a finalist in the Small Business BC’s Premier’s People’s Award (2021) and the Greater Vancouver
Board of Trade’s Business Resilience Regional Export Plan of the Year (2020). Through the incredible success of Raven Reads, Nicole has invested over $400,000 back into the
Indigenous economy, and donated over $2,000 to literacy programs for Indigenous children and youth. She is the Founder and Chair of the Indigenous Women’s Business Network, an organization that she created to provide coaching and mentoring to other Indigenous women
business owners. Nicole holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, and will complete her Masters of Business Administration in 2023 from the University of Illinois’ Gies School of Business. She currently resides in Logan Lake, BC with her husband and two young children.
Learn more about Nicole and her work here.
Moderator/Panelist, “Reaching Our Potential, Building Our Community”, Entrepreneurship Program Launch Session
Saturday, January 29, 2022
Guest Speaker, “Doing Business and building your community in the Digital Realm- marketing, innovation and e-commerce”, Accelerator Training Session #4
Saturday, March 12, 2022
James Delorme (he / him) is an Indigenous digital disrupter, leader, and solopreneur. His background as former Chief of the Klahoose First Nation gives him a unique perspective in technology and business opportunities. In addition, he supports social impact work on various distinct boards such as the BC Small Business Roundtable, Junior Achievement BC, Powell River Education Services Society, and co-founder of the First Nations Internet Society. His current role as President of Indigeknow focuses his time on technology innovation and working on impactful projects, both digitally and socially with
companies such as Briteweb Digital Marketing, KPMG, and various Indigenous partners and clients in multiple sectors.
James is committed to not only economic driven opportunities, but more importantly social impact projects supporting Indigenous rights and follow the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Truth and Reconciliation 94 calls to action, and the BC Declaration of Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (DRIPA). His passion is to help others succeed in business and building capacity in the technology sector by bridging the digital divide.
Learn more about James and his work here.
Panelist, “Reaching Our Potential, Building Our Community”, Entrepreneurship Program Launch Session
Saturday, January 29, 2022
The founder and creator behind the Planting Seeds Project, Mojave’s work plays the role of a caretaker of a divine diversity of heirloom, heritage, wildcrafted open pollinated seeds. This is a farm acreage near the village of Lytton, isolated from contaminants, with clean air, clean water, continuous hearty winds, and clean soil.
Guest Speaker, “Know yourself and cultivate a persevering mindset”, Accelerator Training Session #1
Saturday, Feb 19, 2022
Candace, owner and operator of Talaysay Tours, a cultural and eco tour company located in West Vancouver. Candace’s ancestral name xets’emits’a (to always be there), started her company in 2002. Trained as an anthropologist and school teacher, sharing outdoor education and culture was a dream made possible by growing up on the land and being taught the stories and history of her people by her parents and elders in the community. Candace is a head kayak guide, storyteller and educator-facilitator. During the school season, Candace enjoys working with both educators and students teaching First Nations history, ecology, kayaking, canoeing, cultural protocols, art.
Learn more about Candace and her work here.
Guest Speaker, “Finding Your Niche and Brand Identity in a Vast Market”, Accelerator Training Session #2
Saturday, Feb 26, 2022
Owner and founder of JadaCreations, Jaimie Davis is a multi-talented award-winning artist and business owner from the Gitx̱san & Nisga’a Nations, currently residing on Laxyuubm Ts’msyen - traditional Tsimshian territory (Terrace BC). She belongs to the Laxskiik (eagle) Clan, Wilp (house) Sakhumhiigookh and her eagle name is Xbiyee which translates into “in front of the village walking, cawing like the crow”.
Her award-winning business is in the revitalization of her culture through the arts and in sharing a piece of her culture through wearable art. Since launching her online store www.shopjada.com in 2018, Jaimie graduated from the 3-year program at the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art (2016-2019) with honours earning the “Lieutenant Governor’s Medal” for outstanding achievement in her art and business studies. In 2020 she was awarded Eighth Generation’s “Inspired Natives” award followed by earning a provincial award with Small Business BC, the inaugural title of "Best Solopreneur"!
Learn more about Jaimie and her work here.
Guest Speaker, “It’s a grind and building a team around you is important”, Accelerator Training Session #3
Saturday, March 5, 2022
Owner and founder of the multi-location Kekuli Café (Merritt, West Kelowna, and coming soon Kamloops), Sharon Bond dreamt of her own restaurant for many years. She has always had a passion for cooking, baking & excellent customer service. Her passion for pleasing people and helping people. She created a cafe that had something no other place had; a traditional cultural aboriginal ambience, with light pow wow music, aboriginal art, jewellery and most of all Aboriginal cuisine! Bannock is her niche in the restaurant industry. She wanted a place that everyone would feel welcome and acknowledged. Acknowledgment is so important in our culture. People get offended when they are not acknowledged when they enter places of business. Sharon wanted to create this from the moment you enter Kekuli Cafe. The place to gather, meet & mingle.
Learn more about Sharon and her work here.