There is a growing economy of female-led businesses: owned and operated by Indigenous women. Many of these businesses take traditional ways of being and frame them in a contemporary way that opens them to a new audience. From wellness products to books and to learning opportunities, today’s business leaders are fearless Indigenous women. And these exceptional change makers listed below, are all recent IBA alumnae:
Sisters Sage, 2021 IBA Awardee
Sisters Sage of Vancouver is an Indigenous brand that handcrafts wellness and modern self-care products inspired by the owners’ culture and traditions. Founders, Lynn-Marie and Melissa Rae Angus, create soaps, bath bombs, salves, and smokeless smudge sprays that pay homage to their ancestral teachings and combine traditional with non-traditional scents while promoting environmental sustainability. They’ve been keeping busy and receiving lots of media attention for their products and their commitment to social responsibility, raising awareness for causes they believe in.
Carol Anne Hilton, 2020 Award of Distinction, 2013 IBA Awardee
Carol Anne Hilton is the CEO and Founder of the The Indigenomics Institute and the Global Center of Indigenomics. Carol Anne leads the line of thought called #indigenomics – the building and strengthening of Indigenous economies and, is the author of ‘Indigenomics: Taking A Seat at the Economic Table’. Featured in numerous publications and keynote at speaking events, Carol Anne is busy preparing for the inaugural Indigenomics SHE conference: a space for the vision of Indigenous women’s participation in the Indigenous economy.
Raven Reads Books Ltd., 2020 IBA Awardee
In 2017 Founder and CEO Nicole McLaren launched Raven Reads – a subscription box service that delivers custom, curated books and giftware written or created by Indigenous people from around the world. Born from a desire to educate others about the devastating impact of residential schools on Indigenous people in Canada, Raven Reads aims to create a safe space for dialogue while providing opportunities to learn about other cultures and history. Since its inception, Nicole has grown her company substantially, all while investing over $300,000 into other Indigenous businesses and authors.
Skwálwen Botanicals, 2020 IBA Awardee
Brackendale based Skwálwen Botanicals is a luxury beauty brand that creates small batch botanical skin care products based on Indigenous Plant Science while honouring traditional Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) plant knowledge. As an ethnobotanist, researcher, and community activist, founder Leigh Joseph aims to contribute to cultural knowledge renewal by drawing on teachings learned from family and community members in connection to Indigenous plants. Her products have a global fan base thanks to profiles in leading beauty and lifestyle magazines.
Indigenous female-run businesses are a making a big impact in the economy, locally and globally. These leaders are taking a seat at the table and bringing their ideas and energy to the marketplace. BC Achievement is honoured to recognize and celebrate these businesses.
BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.