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For this #Next150 challenge, I’m asking you to make a new purchase decision that directly benefits an Indigenous business owner or entrepreneur. This could mean purchasing a product or service from an Indigenous business, financially supporting an Indigenous creative or media maker, or procuring a new Indigenous supplier at work or for yourself.
About This Challenge
Every day, we’re all choosing how to use our economic resources - no matter how limited or expansive they are. We decide where to spend our own money, which products we tell our friends about, and some of us even make purchase decisions for others at work or while volunteering. There’s a concept called “voting with your dollar,” that says every time you make a purchase decision, you’re choosing to support the company, business owner, or community that created the product. Essentially, every time you buy something you’re “voting for” that producer. For my #Next150 challenge, I’m asking you to make a new purchase decision that directly benefits an Indigenous business owner or entrepreneur - I’m asking you to #BuyIndigenous.
You may already support Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs, and for that I say thank you, and please continue to make those choices. But for this challenge, consider trying a product or service you’ve never tried before, or try switching from your regular brand/company to one owned by an Indigenous person or community. You can find Indigenous business owners in your local community or turn to online markets like Indig Inc., Etsy and Patreon to look for Indigenous entrepreneurs and creatives whose products and services match your needs. No matter what product or service you’re looking to buy, there will be Indigenous producers happy to have you as a new customer. Any time you buy anything - coffee, books, clothes, office supplies, music, gym memberships, catering, cleaning services, groceries, office space, fine art, furniture, software, or anything else - you have the opportunity to support Economic Reconciliation.
In many ways, Economic Reconciliation is about bringing Indigenous voices, perspectives, ideas and people into spaces in which, maybe they weren’t always welcome. This week, for my challenge, I’m asking you to choose to #BuyIndigenous. Exercise your economic power and make the choice to support an Indigenous entrepreneur.
Why Should You #BuyIndigenous?
When you hear the term “Indigenize” you might think about reading work by Indigenous thought leaders, or hiring Indigenous talent. You may have heard the term in relation to university programs or municipal governments. And while all of these are crucial moves towards Indigenization of different spaces in Canada, we need to see Indigenization through an economic lens too - we need to think of Economic Reconciliation within the broader context of Reconciliation. Indigenous people need to be compensated fairly and equitably in the Canadian economy and we know that that has not always been the case. On an individual level, we can affect positive change by hiring and properly compensating Indigenous suppliers, employees, teachers and guest speakers, paying for the media created by Indigenous thoughts leaders that we rely on, and buying and promoting the products and services of Indigenous businesses to our friends and networks.
In 2011, we learned that there were more than 43,000 Indigenous business owners in Canada. Since then, the number of Indigenous business owners has continued to grow and the rate of growth far outstrips that of the general Canadian population. At the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), we support these entrepreneurs and work to build partnerships and bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses in Canada - we work to forge Economic Reconciliation.
Indigenous entrepreneurs and business owners operate in every industry and region in Canada, and just like any other entrepreneurs, they’re willing to work to earn your business. However Indigenous business owners face unique challenges in bringing their products and services to the mainstream market in this country. Thus, for this challenge I’m asking you to find and support an Indigenous business or entrepreneur that you haven’t supported before. That could mean buying a new product or service for yourself or your family, buying a gift for someone else, choosing to work with an Indigenous supplier for an event or at work, or if you’re unable to make any purchases, you can share the products and services of Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs with your networks using the hashtags #BuyIndigenous and #Next150.
To begin, click "accept challenge" below!
- Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
- Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business: Promise and Prosperity The 2016 Aboriginal Business Survey
- Time for Economic Reconciliation | RAW Talks with JP Gladu
- The new reality of Aboriginal businesses | JP Gladu | Walrus Talks
- StartUP Canada - Resources for Indigenous Entrepreneurs
- Economic Reconciliation - Reconciliation Canada
- Indigenous Women and the Economy | Devon Fiddler & Carol Anne Hilton
- Why Canada Needs Indigenous Economic Reconciliation - ICT Inc
- Business leaders urged to step up for Indigenous entrepreneurs - The Toronto Star
- Networks of Advantage: Urban Indigenous Entrepreneurship and the Importance of Social Capital - Rochelle R. Côté
- Decolonizing Indigenous Entrepreneurship: economic reconciliation through hybrid venture creation
Find Products/Services By Indigenous Producers That You’ll Love!
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JP Gladu is the President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) based in Toronto. Anishinaabe from Thunder Bay, JP is a member of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek located on the eastern shores of Lake Nipigon, Ontario.
"I’m asking you to make a new purchase decision that directly benefits an Indigenous business owner or entrepreneur. "