PHOTO: Kendall White, Baamaapii Boxes from Temagami First Nation

It’s okay to ask for help

September 17, 2021

Semi-Finalist Spotlight on Kendall White, Baamaapii Boxes

Meet Kendall White, Baamaapii Boxes from Temagami First Nation. Kendall is a Pow Wow Pitch Ontario Semi-Finalist. We sat down with Kendall to learn more about her, her business and her reflections on entrepreneurship. 

PWP: Kendall, can you tell us about yourself and why you decided to start your business?

KW: I am a single mother with a full-time job. I launched Baamaapii Boxes this Summer, and it has been booming!

Having lost my parents to drugs in high school and having lost my first love to suicide after my son was born, I decided that I wanted to take action, supporting other Indigenous-owned businesses, and raise funds for mental health.

That’s why I donate $2 to the Canadian Mental Health Association for Men’s Mental Health with each purchase.

PWP: Thank you for sharing this with us and for your commitment to supporting Indigenous businesses and mental health. 

Can you share more about Baamaapii Boxes? 

KW: Baamaapii Boxes is a subscription mailer box service that is affordable and features products from Indigenous entrepreneurs. 

Each month, subscribers receive various products and enjoy the surprise and the opportunity to bring traditions and culture home.

It’s important to make traditional items available for those who don’t have access to them. Not everyone has access to smudge kits, kookmis or shoomis, for example. 

I also partner with national organizations and First Nations communities to make these boxes accessible to Indigenous youth.

PWP: What has been the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur?

KW: I love partnering with unique small businesses and learning about their stories. It’s so inspiring.  

It has been so encouraging to see the growth of the business in its early stages.

PWP: Why did you choose to apply for Pow Wow Pitch?

KW: I saw a call for a LIVE Audition, and my heart knew just what to say. 

My favourite part has been to learn about all of the amazing Indigenous-run businesses and to explore their products and services. 

I also had the chance to be paired with two mentors, Lizaveta Akhvledziani from Square and Vesna Spasevski from RBC, who supported me in preparing for the Semi-Final pitch and are still supporting me.

PWP: What advice do you have for Indigenous people thinking of starting up a business?

Just do it! There are so many opportunities for entrepreneurs. Everyone goes through mental ups and downs. Never be ashamed to ask for help if you need it! 

PWP: Thank you for chatting with us, Kendall! Good luck with the Semi-Finals.

You can support Kendall to reach the Pow Wow Pitch Finals by voting for her for the People’s Choice Prize. Click here to vote for Kendall. You can also watch Kendall Pitch at the Ontario Semi-Finals Live on September 22, 2021, at 6 PM ET Click here to register to watch.