Lyle Thomas, Ecentre Manager - Fort Severn First Nation
Manages the community broadband network while training youth technicians.
Mentoring youth to use the network to express their culture online through media. The local TV station is used to share community events and notices. Fort Severn has a buy and sell group where traditional meals, beadwork, handmade clothing and artwork is sold and traded. Community members are active on the land and share pictures and videos of their experiences.
Toya Pemmican, Beading - Deer Lake First Nation
Toya is a very talented young lady, she has mastered the art of beading.
Toya began beading September 2012 and since then she has been selling her art work to family and friends." When I was younger I used to always watch my grandmother do beading and I wanted to do it too. I also learned to bead from my native language teacher."
"I've thought about starting a business. I am the boss and I am doing something that I love doing!"- Toya
Kanina Terry, Sewing, Beading, Baking - Sioux Lookout, ON http://kanina.ca
Is a mother who loves to be creative and express herself throough her art.
Kanina Terry is from Sioux Lookout, ON and a member of Lac Seul First Nation. Before Kanina even knew what the word “entrepreneur” was, she wanted to be one. When she was 11 she ran her first pow wow booth selling dreamcatchers and keychains. Since then, her craft skills have expanded to include sewing, quilting, beading and jewellery making. Her fabric and bead collection has expanded greatly as well! Kanina still dreams of following the pow wow trail with a craft booth and has recently added the dream of running a pow wow food wagon. Along with crafting, Kanina has a passion for food. Since 2009 she has been selling baking along-side her crafts at pow wows and in Sioux Lookout via facebook and the local farmers markets. In 2013 Kanina graduated from Seven Generations Education Institute in Fort Frances, ON with a Culinary Skills Chef certificate that is accredited by Canadore College. Kanina now owns and operates Catering by Kanina, a home-based catering business in Sioux Lookout. Catering by Kanina offers home-cooked and, often, traditional creations with an emphasis on fresh, healthy ingredients. Kanina would like to expand her catering business to include take-out lunches and dinners. Eventually she would like to realize a life-long dream of opening up a cafe/eatery in Sioux Lookout.
Derek Harper, Artist -Keewaywin First Nation
Derek is a family man who loves to be out on the land practicing his traditional skills. He got involved in art at an early age and taught himself the woodland style on canvas with acrylic and oil paint. His artwork is displayed and is for sale at galleries across Northern Ontario including Triple K Arts in Thunder Bay.
Barb, Homer and Krystal,Krystal’s Coffee Shop – Keewaywin First Nation
Barb, Homer and Krystal own and operate Krystal’s Coffee Shop in Keewaywin First Nation. Their friends were talking about the need for a coffee shop and a place to hang out in Keewaywin. They asked around and found a friend who knew of some good suppliers. Barb took it to Facebook and many people were eager for the couple to begin their social enterprise journey. Krystal's Coffee House opened in 2012. Barb and Homer got their inspiration from their beautiful daughter Krystal. The coffee shop is run out of the couple's home, with Krystal by their side helping out to ensure the success of this family business. They started with one coffee pot and a few cups. They sold out faster than they could make the coffee so they went on to buy more coffee makers. Since the opening of Krystal's Coffee House they have expanded their coffee business to milk shakes, baked goods, ice cream and prepared meals. There is something for everyone; for the Elders who are not easily mobile Barb will often go and deliver coffee to their home. They have created a warm, friendly environment for people to come and sit and socialize, through this they bring the community together. The next step is to have an environment where the youth can hang out and have free internet. The vision is of a big canoe where youth can meet and talk. The family recognizes the struggles of owning a business in a remote community but encourage other entrepreneurs to never give up and keep following your dreams.
Mona Gordon - As a proud parent/grandparent equipped with her College Degree and business plan in hand, Mona is in the beginning stages of running her own enterprise, the convenience store "NishMart." Mona has been operating NishMart on a small scale since February of this year. Offering a tax exemption to First Nation people and is looking to take her business from her home where she is operating out of at this present time to a new location. This new location will offer more space and larger opportunities to expand. She takes pride in being a role model in her community, as well offering her time to mentor or speak with anyone who is looking to start their own enterprise. In Mona's interview she expresses the importance of educating yourself to the resources and funding opportunities out there to assist you with your business goals.
Jackie Fletcher - Missanabie Cree Tourist Resort - Social Enterprise
It all began because we didn't have any reserve from where we once lived and our land claim is presently being worked on. When my sister Shirley was Chief and I was on Council with 2 others in the late 90's, we decided that we needed a toe hold in the Missanabie area, so we decided to buy a tourist camp. It was a long and arduous job and people said we would never pull it off but we did. We had a very strong proposal writer and she was relentless. We ended up providing employment opportunities since then for many of our members not only for a job but also capacity building in how to run such an operation. We employ students during the summer and the operation has grown tremendously in terms of enhancement buildings. We have nine cabins overlooking the lake and they hold 4 - 8 people. Five of those cabins are now winterized and last year they purchased all brand new beds. There is also separate areas for tents and campers to set up camp. At the resort we also have an incredible administration/gymnasium building on site now. We also some fun activities that people can take part in are; canoeing, fishing, walking/hiking/ bike trails, horseshoes, swimming, and site seeing. We do not book any tourists during the 3rd week of August so we can hold our yearly gatherings and bring all of our members together for one week. It would be a great place to hold one of our meetings so others can see how it is run.