Applications open for the 2022 Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards

April 6, 2022

Apply or Nominate by June 21, 2022

Today, Pow Wow Pitch, a grassroots initiative by and for Indigenous entrepreneurs, announced the opening of applications and nominations for the 2022 Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards to celebrate excellence and outstanding achievement of Indigenous entrepreneurship. 

Indigenous entrepreneurs and Indigenous-owned businesses across Canada and the United States can apply or nominate others for their entrepreneurial perseverance, growth, impact, and example.

“As Indigenous entrepreneurs drive the growth of the Indigenous economy and use entrepreneurship to heal our people and communities, celebrate our diverse cultures, and leave good footprints for future generations to follow, these Awards recognize them as the leaders they are,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “The Awards are our opportunity to honour the wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility and truth of the entrepreneurial icons of our generation, express our gratitude and create a platform to tell their stories of resilience and reconciliation through entrepreneurship.”

The Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards are presented in partnership with RBC, Shopify, Meta, and Mastercard, with the support of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and Export Development Canada.

“Indigenous entrepreneurs are a powerful and fast-growing force in our country’s economy,” said Dale Sturges, National Director for Indigenous Financial Services at RBC. “Their contributions are strengthening communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast, and their innovation and resilience shines through each year in the Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards. It’s an honour for RBC to support this year’s awards as we do our part to celebrate Indigenous innovations and share their inspiring entrepreneurial stories with Canadians at large.”

“Shopify aims to bring more voices to entrepreneurship, and Pow Wow Pitch allows Indigenous entrepreneurs from all stages and intersections to share their dreams, beliefs, culture, and expressions of economic self-determination,” said  Kyle St-Amour-Brennan, Indigenous Entrepreneurship Program Manager at Shopify. “Pow Wow Pitch has built one of the greatest Indigenous entrepreneurial showcases anywhere, and we’re privileged and excited to continue our ongoing partnership and shared mission to empower more Native entrepreneurs from communities everywhere.”  

“Indigenous entrepreneurs drive innovation and change in their communities and across Canada,” said Garrick Tiplady, VP and Country Director at Meta in Canada, “We are proud to continue supporting Pow Wow Pitch and their incredible community of entrepreneurs through educational resources and funding.”

“At Mastercard, we are committed to fostering an inclusive economy that benefits everyone, including the Indigenous community,” said Sasha Krstic, president of Mastercard in Canada. “We recognize that Indigenous entrepreneurs face disproportionate barriers and, in partnership with Pow Wow Pitch, we are proud to address some of their unique barriers and challenges to help amplify the success of Indigenous entrepreneurs across the country.”

Applicants and nominees must reside on Turtle Island (Canada or the United States) and be Inuit, Métis, or First Nations. They may be an entrepreneur running any business in any industry, so long as they have been operating for a minimum of three years.

Applications and nominations close on June 21, 2022. Winners will be announced and celebrated during a digitally broadcast awards presentation on November 3, 2022.

In addition to the title, Winners receive a unique hand-crafted silver pin by Sapling & Flint, and a plaque encased with a limited edition signed print of ‘Red Rising,’ a beautiful art piece created by award-winning Indigenous artist Patrick Hunter.

For more information, to apply or nominate, visit:

To book an interview with Pow Wow Pitch Founder Sunshine Tenasco, or for more information, please contact

About Pow Wow Pitch 

Pow Wow Pitch is an entrepreneurship program for emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, which provides a safe, supportive, collaborative, empowering and culturally supportive environment that addresses the challenges of Indigenous entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. Pow Wow Pitch enhances growth through programs and resources. Community leadership through volunteerism is promoted as a reflection of respect and reciprocity. For more information, visit

About RBC Indigenous Financial Services Group

For more than 100 years, RBC has been building relationships with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities across Canada. We are committed to serving Indigenous governments, communities, organizations, businesses and individuals by creating opportunities for sustainable economic development through access to banking and capital, and individuals. RBC also provides donations and grants that support Indigenous interests. More information at

About Shopify

Shopify is a leading global commerce company, providing trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size. Shopify makes commerce better for everyone with a platform and services that are engineered for reliability, while delivering a better shopping experience for consumers everywhere. Proudly founded in Ottawa, Shopify powers over 1.7 million businesses in more than 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Manitobah Mukluks, Cheekbone Beauty, Sisters Sage, Herbraids, Tania Larsson, and many more. For more information, visit 

About Meta

Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.