PHOTO: 2023 Pow Wow Pitch Mentor, Johannes Valdes, submitted by Shopify.

Pow Wow Pitch and Shopify Reunite to Expand Online and Retail Opportunities for Indigenous Merchants

April 18, 2024

Pow Wow Pitch, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing Indigenous entrepreneurship, proudly announces the continuation and evolution of its strategic collaboration with Shopify, a global leader in commerce solutions. Entering its seventh year, this partnership underscores a shared commitment to fostering economic empowerment and growth opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs across Canada and the United States.

Since its inception, Pow Wow Pitch has been at the forefront of championing Indigenous entrepreneurship, recognizing it as a powerful vehicle for community empowerment and economic self-determination. Central to its mission is the belief that Indigenous businesses not only drive economic prosperity but also serve as vehicles for cultural preservation and community development. This ethos aligns with Shopify’s dedication to empowering entrepreneurs worldwide, making the partnership a natural fit.

As part of the partnership, Indigenous entrepreneurs will gain access to a wide range of resources and support mechanisms, including digital tools, mentorship programs, and a 60-day free trial of the Shopify platform. The partnership includes delivering ongoing support to Indigenous entrepreneurs through initiatives such as Tuesday Tips, Podcasts, eBlasts, training and other opportunities designed to equip Indigenous entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape.

Shopify will also actively engage its employees and Indigenous merchants in Pow Wow Pitch’s events and initiatives. This collaborative approach will see Shopify professionals serving as judges and mentors, providing invaluable guidance and expertise to Indigenous entrepreneurs participating in Pow Wow Pitch’s virtual and in-person events. Kyle Brennan Shàwinipinesì, Shopify’s Senior Lead for Indigenous Entrepreneurship, will also continue serving on Pow Wow Pitch’s Advisory Council to provide strategic guidance to Pow Wow Pitch as it embarks on defining its strategy for the next five years.

Naomi Sarazin, Executive Director of Pow Wow Pitch, expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to strengthen our partnership with Shopify, a steadfast ally in our mission to empower Indigenous entrepreneurs. Shopify’s unwavering commitment to supporting Indigenous businesses has been instrumental in driving positive change within our communities. With their continued support, we are confident in our ability to unlock the full potential of Indigenous entrepreneurship and foster lasting economic prosperity.”

Kyle Brennan Shàwinipinesì echoed the sentiment, emphasizing Shopify’s commitment to empowering Indigenous entrepreneurs. “At Shopify, we recognize the transformative power of entrepreneurship in driving positive change within Indigenous communities. We are proud to partner with Pow Wow Pitch in its mission to empower Indigenous entrepreneurs and create pathways to economic prosperity. Through our continued collaboration, we are dedicated to providing Indigenous entrepreneurs with the necessary support and resources to thrive.”

Pow Wow Pitch and Shopify are dedicated to exploring new avenues for growth and innovation. Together, the two organizations are also working to optimize and expand, a vital platform for Indigenous merchants to showcase their products and reach a broader audience and explore innovative in-person retail experiences that provide new platforms for Indigenous merchants, businesses, and brands to connect with consumers. Through these efforts, Pow Wow Pitch and Shopify are pioneering new pathways for Indigenous economic empowerment and community-driven economic development.

For more information about Pow Wow Pitch and Shopify’s partnership, please visit