Pow Wow Pitch Welcomes Inaugural Board of Directors

Pow Wow Pitch Welcomes Inaugural Board of Directors

Pow Wow Pitch announces the appointment of its inaugural Board of Directors. The formation of this esteemed board marks a significant milestone in Pow Wow Pitch’s journey to support and fund early-stage Indigenous entrepreneurs across Turtle Island.

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Pow Wow Pitch Welcomes Naomi Sarazin as Executive Director

Pow Wow Pitch Welcomes Naomi Sarazin as Executive Director

Pow Wow Pitch proudly announces the appointment of Naomi Sarazin as its inaugural Executive Director. With her deep-rooted commitment to Indigenous culture, extensive experience in education and non-profit sectors, and a strategic vision for growth and impact, Sarazin is set to lead Pow Wow Pitch into a new era of success.

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Eight Indigenous entrepreneurial leaders recognized for outstanding achievements and impact

Eight Indigenous entrepreneurial leaders recognized for outstanding achievements and impact

On November 9, 2023, Pow Wow Pitch, a non-profit organization supporting and celebrating Indigenous entrepreneurs, announced eight Award Winners from across Turtle Island at the 3nd Annual Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards, co-presented by RBC, Shopify, and Mastercard in partnership with Export Development Canada and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada. 

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Puna Tripp, Hā Tonics, wins 2023 Mana Up Pow Wow Pitch

Puna Tripp, Hā Tonics, wins 2023 Mana Up Pow Wow Pitch

On Wednesday, November 8th, 2023, Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs, presented in partnership with RBC, Shopify, and Mastercard, announced Puna Tripp, the Kanaka Maoli Founder of Hā Tonics, from Kailua, as the first-ever 2023 Mana Up Pow Wow Pitch Winner. The Native Hawaiian-owned business has won 5,000 USD and is advancing to the 2024 Pow Wow Pitch Finals for a chance to win $25,000.

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Michelle Bernier wins RBC Entrepreneurial Icon Award

Michelle Bernier wins RBC Entrepreneurial Icon Award

“I stand before you today deeply humbled and grateful to receive this award,” said Michelle. “I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the incredible team at Northern Nursing Solutions, their dedication is the driving force behind our mission success. I am also indebted to my family and community, whose unwavering support and encouragement have been my pillars of strength throughout this journey.”

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Terry Brown wins RBC Rising Star Award

Terry Brown wins RBC Rising Star Award

“I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Pow Wow Pitch organizers, sponsors, and my family for believing in me,” said Terry. “Eight years ago I embraced entrepreneurship, seeking autonomy and ownership after a decade of building entities for others. The arrival of my daughter became my greatest inspiration to create a greater future for her and other generations to come. None of this would be possible without my incredible team at Okimaw Community and HR Solutions, their dedication and hard work have been the driving force behind our success.”

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Sarain Fox wins the Shopify Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

Sarain Fox wins the Shopify Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

“This means so much to me because it took me decades to be able to claim storytelling as a career path,” said Sarain. “To me the art of storytelling and entrepreneurship started in the world of theater and seeing what could happen when you have the power to tell your own stories. Through my platform at Sarain Fox and my production studio, our goal is to create meaningful representation through all sectors. This award means so much because it not only recognizes recent work over the last few years, but decades worth of work that myself and so many Indigenous people have been doing to create space, meaningful dialogue, and to create activists.”

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James Jones wins the Shopify Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

James Jones wins 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!’”

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Vanessa Genier wins the Mastercard Game Changer Award

Vanessa Genier wins the Mastercard Game Changer Award

“I am honoured to accept this award in recognition for the work being done for Indigenous survivors by survivors,” said Vanessa. “I am here today because of my great grandparents and survivors, Emily and David. What started out as a grassroots project quickly became an international way to bring honour, respect, and love to survivors. Thank you to Pow Wow Pitch and Mastercard for honouring Indigenous entrepreneurs. I would also like to thank our many volunteers, our supporters, my first nation, our board, friends, and family.”

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Lori Anne Stanger wins the Mastercard Game Changer Award

Lori Anne Stanger wins the Mastercard Game Changer Award

“I am really grateful to be here and I would like to thank all the sponsors and the hardworking team of the Pow Wow Pitch organizers for sharing the message across Turtle Island that entrepreneurship is a possibility for Indigenous peoples,” said Lori. ”It has been a historic fire season and I would like to honour and thank the brave people that are out on the fireline keeping communities safe. I would also like to thank my incredible team at FIRE 1 for their support. Thank you to everyone, migwetch.”

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Vanessa Marshall wins the EDC Export Award

Vanessa Marshall wins the EDC Export Award

“I am deeply honoured and humbled to accept the EDC export award for domestic success and global potential,” said Vanessa. “This award holds profound significance for not just myself, but for the broader Indigenous communities and our collective journey towards redefining entrepreneurship and paving the way for future generations.”

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