James Jones wins the Shopify Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

2023 Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards

November 9, 2023 | Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition for emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, co-presented by RBC, Shopify, and Mastercard in partnership with Export Development Canada and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, presented James Jones from Tall Cree First Nation with the Shopify Entrepreneurial Spirit Award at the Third Annual Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards.

James was presented the Shopify Entrepreneurial Spirit Award by Kyle Brennan Shàqinippinesì, Build Native Program Manager at Shopify.

James Jones, known as “Notorious Cree,” is a world-renowned Nêhiyaw hoop dancer from Tall Cree First Nation. 

His unique blend of traditional and modern dance has garnered over four million followers, taking him from the Winter Olympics to the Sydney Opera House. Ranked among the world’s top 5 hoop dancers, James has shared stages with K-OS and Snoop Dogg, and showcased his talent on “So You Think You Can Dance Canada.” 

His 15-plus years of dance experience fuel his high-energy, interactive performances, combining traditional hoop, powwow, and hip-hop dance styles. Beyond performance, James’s social work degree informs his empowerment workshops addressing critical issues in Indigenous communities. 

As a TikTok sensation, he’s using his platform to share and celebrate Indigenous culture, making him a trailblazer and an inspiring recipient of the Shopify Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

“I would like to thank my family, sisters, and friends who have been my biggest supporters throughout this process,” said James. “As an Indigenous artist and entrepreneur, I have learned that we belong in these spaces, whether it’s on billboards or in the media, we 100% deserve to be here. Thank you to all of the organizers of this event for this award! My number one call to action to any looking to start their social media journey is to ‘Just giv’er!’”

“We are honoured to celebrate the incredible role models of Indigenous entrepreneurship,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “Congratulations, James, we are so proud to watch you shine as a positive role model for Indigenous youth and stand as an advocate for Indigenous representation across the globe.”

To watch James’s feature, click here. To watch the full Awards show, click here.