Wednesday November 30 2022
A Lift in Economic Reconciliation For Indigenous Entrepreneurs from across the Howe Sound Region
Wednesday, November 30th 2022, Sechelt, BC, Canada - PowHERhouse announces their first regional impact initiative for 2023, an economic reconciliation project, to lift 12 Indigenous women and non-binary entrepreneurs in the early stages of entrepreneurship. This project is specifically looking for Indigenous entrepreneurs at all levels of readiness from across the Howe Sound region, including the Sea-to-Sky corridor and across the water on the Sunshine Coast.
The seed for this project was planted in May 2022 at a cross-sector community gathering called the “Table of Twenty” hosted by PowHERhouse at the Gibsons Public Market. In attendance at the event was Co-Operators’ Valerie Georgescu, Jodi Fichtner from the Sunshine Coast Credit Union, Charlene SanJenko from reGEN media, and Vanessa Lesperance from the Indigenous Lift Collective. As PowHERhouse founder Charlene SanJenko has been known to say: magic happens at the periphery, and around the table that day, the seeds of an idea for an Indigenous reconciliation initiative was born.
The LIFTing Your Leadership program came together as a cohort experience for 12 entrepreneurs and is a combination of business development activities (created by LIFT), PR and story amplification (by PowHERhouse), and a mini-documentary storytelling the experience, showcasing participants, and shifting the narrative towards all that is possiblee (by reGEN media). The project is rooted in decolonized leadership development and steeped in Indigenous ways of knowing and being.
Together with community partners, Sunshine Coast Credit Union and Co-operators, project champions see this partnership as an recognition that economic reconciliation is a vital part of addressing and rectifying the impacts of colonization and genocide across Turtle Island. Indigenous peoples have been excluded from the economic table and the time is long overdue to collectively come together to lift, amplify and support Indigenous entrepreneurs.
This initiative uplifts Indigenous women and non-binary entrepreneurs who are the caregivers of their families and elders communities, the heartbeat of their communities, and have been disproportionately impacted by colonial systems as well as Indigenous non-binary people who are caught in the intersectionality of race and gender discrimination.
“Economic reconciliation is critical because Indigenous peoples have been excluded from the economic table. Although economic reconciliation needs to be led by Indigenous folks, ALL people have a responsibility to champion, support, invest and amplify for a more just, equitable, relational and thriving world. We are truly stronger together and when Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations collaborate in service of economic reconciliation, that is how we can extend the impact of our ripple into the next seven generations.”
- Vanessa Lesperance, Indigenous LIFT Collective Circle Lead
If you are an Indigenous woman or non-binary entrepreneur in the Howe Sound Region, including the Sea-to-Sky corridor or across the Sunshine Coast, you are invited to apply to have your business LIFTed by this economic reconciliation project.