Indigenous business owners share their secrets and put entrepreneurship InFocus


According to a new forecast from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the number of Indigenous business owners is growing at five times the rate of self-employed Canadians. Indigenous women are starting their own businesses at twice the rate of non-Indigenous women.

It’s a $30-billion economy now according to RBC and forecast to triple to $100-billion by 2025.

What sort of businesses are in? All of them – from retail stores, gas stations, construction companies, restaurants, real estate, professional services, transportation, mining and airlines – just to name a few. They’re operating in urban centres, rural communities, and on the “rez” everywhere.

Well, people who are their own bosses – entrepreneurs – the ones who take the plunge every day into the business world – join InFocus to share their success stories.

These entrepreneurs are going to inspire us, teach us some secrets of their success and how a seed of an idea grew into a business.

Indigenous-owned businesses featured on InFocus

Raven PrintsTerrace, British Columbia | Screen printing – Owner Nikki Villeneuve.

Cheekbone Beauty St. Catharines, Ontario | Beauty products – Owner Jenn Harper

Wolf Pack ApparelVancouver, British Columbia | Clothing company – Owner Craig Stephens

Iron Dog BooksVancouver, British Columbia | Bookshop and book truck – Owners Hilary Atleo and Cliff Atleo

Jada CreationsTerrace, British Columbia | Jewelry made from cedar bark – Owner Jaimie Davis

Feast Café BistroWinnipeg, Manitoba | Restaurant – Owner Christa Guenther

Sayzoons St-Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba | Outdoor adventures – Owner Season Kirkwood

Anne MulaireWinnipeg, Manitoba | Clothing company – Owner Andreanne Mulaire Dandeneau

Raven RisingSudbury, Ontario | Chocolates and pastries – Owner Tammy Maki

Host, Producer / Winnipeg

Melissa is a proud Red River Metis and award-winning journalist who has spent more than 24 years covering crime, courts, politics, business and entertainment for newspapers in four provinces.
She then joined APTN Investigates in 2009 and APTN National News in 2018 and in that time has garnered numerous awards and nominations including from the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network (2013), Canadian Association of Journalists (2016, 2019) and Canadian Screen Awards (2018, 2019).