IBA profile: Marcia Turner, CEO of Daxgedim Haanak Nation Building 

Photo: 2023 Indigenous Business Awardee, Daxgedim Haanak’ Nation Building

“My vision is that we are free to be Indigenous.” 

Gitxsan entrepreneur Marcia Turner, 2023 Indigenous Business Award (IBA) recipient, is a leader focused on advocating for self-determination and self-government among Indigenous peoples across British Columbia and beyond. As CEO and founder of Daxgedim Haanak’ Nation Building her business provides Indigenous Governance, Community Development and Engagement. Marcia envisions a decolonized future where Indigenous peoples can freely embrace their culture and languages.  

With a mission that revolves around transformation and systems change at the governance and leadership levels, Marcia works alongside Indigenous communities to amplify their voices. In her own words, Maria relays that “a lot of my work is really centred around systems change and governance and leadership level looking at ways in which we can amplify the voices of Indigenous people as well as bringing equity to Indigenous knowledge systems because there’s tremendous change that needs to be done.” 

Her associates speak highly of the value she brings to her work. “Marcia has a warmth about her and a way of doing things that are aligned with Indigenous cultures ways of being and doing”.
Danielle Mitchell, Associate. 

Marcia recently shared the importance of receiving the 2023 IBA Business of the Year award: 

It was a warm July day when my cellphone was ringing and it was a phone number that I didn’t recognize. I hesitated for a moment, unsure if I wanted to answer the phone call because it was my last day of work and I was taking a much needed break for the month of August. At the other end of the phone was Angela Marston from the BC Achievement Foundation, I’d like to set up a Zoom with you, she said. I thought it was going to be an interview. To my surprise, it was good news and I had won an Indigenous Business Award for small enterprise.  

At the beginning of 2023, I had set my intention to take my business to the next level. At the time, I didn’t really know what it would mean. Receiving the IBA award transformed my thinking about how I do my work and has planted the seed that I have what it takes to grow my business. Importantly, the IBA has given me exposure and it put me on the radar to be noticed – it’s raised my profile, and I have so much deep gratitude for this. But being noticed is only part of being a successful business.  

The IBA banquet opened my eyes to a whole world of opportunities, it was inspirational to see all the other recipients, hear their stories, witness our celebration and network with like-minded people in the entrepreneurial business world. The IBA inspired me to be intentional about taking my business to the next level, so afterwards, I hosted a strategic planning retreat in my home with my Associates where we dared to dream big, shared our stories, and created a vision for the future of our work and for future generations.  

As a result, I’ve shifted away from work that I was doing, which was good work but I wanted to do more. I have now shifted towards a focus on systems change to advance the rights of Indigenous peoples. I’m honoured to be working with clients and partners who are trusting me and my team to support their work to advance reconciliation, decolonize, and uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples. IBA gave me the confidence to believe that I have an idea worth sharing and I’m now invited to speak on May 3rd at the TEDx at Royal Roads University where I will be talking about a decolonial framework I developed, a framework that is designed to cultivate relationships and create meaningful and lasting change for Indigenous Peoples. I’m excited now, to continue on this journey of growth. 

With a TEDx talk at Royal Roads University soon under her belt, the future looks promising for Marcia and Daxgedim Haanak Nation Building. 

Be part of it and nominate a business for the 2024 Indigenous Business Award, and submit a nomination online before May 31 at 5:00 pm. Visit this link for the IBA Nomination form.

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