This National Indigenous History, we’re spotlighting 5 Indigenous social enterprises alongside whom we have the privilege to learn, grow and collaborate: Colouring It Forward, DEVA, IndigenEYEZ, Rad Relish and COYA Productions.
Each of these incredible Indigenous social enterprises inspire us with their dedication, impact and commitment to uplifting Indigenous communities and decolonizing the world.
We hold our hands up to these social entrepreneurs, and invite you to learn more about their work as well as opportunities to contribute your dollars, attention and networks toward their enterprises.
DEVA: Empowering Indigenous Women through Digital Literacy
DEVA Training & Staffing Solutions, led by Sharon Marshall, equips Indigenous women in remote communities with digital literacy and administration skills. Through their comprehensive training, job placement and on-the-job coaching, DEVAs cultivate the skills required to work from home as Virtual Assistants – allowing them to build financial independence and contribute to their community’s economy while caring for their families.
DEVAs learn hard skills as well as important soft skills, while cultivating personal resilience and the self-confidence to problem solve and advocate for themselves in the work world.
To support the women to go through the program, DEVA secures sponsors to pay for the training, equipment (including a laptop) and supplies. DEVA also vets Settler organizations who want to partner for on-the-job training, offering practicum placements for the students and later jobs. The learning goes both ways in these placements – students get to learn on the job and employers learn and practice working in ways that are aligned with Indigenous ways of being and knowing.
To learn more about partnership opportunities, reach out to DEVA founder Sharon Marshall.
Rad Relish: A Taste of Indigenous Heritage
Rad Relish is the only Métis grocery product in chain supermarkets in BC’s Interior. Based on the recipe of his Métis grandmother, Garrett Millsap developed the signature relish using West Kelowna-grown zucchini, turmeric and mustard seed.
For their jams – RadJamz – the company works with local farmers to use up the fruit that they can’t sell, so it doesn’t go to waste.
Shop the Rad Relish/RadJamz online store for these pantry favourites. (Our Impact Manager Jude Brunt always includes a jar of Rad Relish as part of her spread when guests come to visit!)
IndigenEYEZ: Decolonizing Leadership and Relationships
IndigenEYEZ is dedicated to providing leadership and facilitation training for Indigenous peoples seeking to decolonize and indigenize their relationships and communities. Led by Kelly Terbasket, IndigenEYEZ’s arts-based methodology creates an immersive, embodied experience for participants – with transformative results.
To build revenue to subsidize their training programs for Indigenous participants, Purppl worked with IndigenEYEZ to create kinSHIFT, a social enterprise that creates learning opportunities for Settlers committed to building respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples and places.
kinSHIFT workshops offer a safe and engaging environment for Settlers to learn, practice, ask questions, and make mistakes while developing the necessary skills to engage meaningfully with Indigenous communities.
Join kinSHIFT workshops on your own or with a group of work colleagues, and expect to have a transformative experience that sets you a continuous path of learning and unlearning for the rest of your life.
Registration for kinSHIFT is open now for the Fall.
Colouring It Forward: Celebrating Indigenous Culture through Art
Colouring It Forward is a collaborative initiative that celebrates Indigenous culture through art. Working alongside Indigenous artists and elders, this social enterprise led by Diana Frost produces visually stunning colouring books, cards, journals, and other artistic products that encapsulate the beauty, hope and wisdom of Indigenous traditions.
Colouring It Forward also serves as a gathering place for creators and Knowledge Holders to share their stories, art and build a sense of community.
Visit their online store to explore an array of meaningful gifts designed by Indigenous artists, often accompanied by teachings from Elders.
Additionally, Colouring It Forward offers the ReconciliACTION Passport, a resource providing 20+ suggested actions and guidance on how to be an ally.
COYA Productions: Amplifying Social Impact and Unheard Voices
COYA Productions, also known as Consequences Of Your Actions, is a catalyst for change. Led by Jace Meyer, their mission is to assist social impact creators, Indigenous entrepreneurs, and unheard youth voices in articulating their theory of change and implementing educational programs, courses, and events that drive meaningful transformations.
COYA emphasizes the measurement of impact, ensuring that the work undertaken produces tangible results.
As part of their commitment to collaboration and knowledge sharing, COYA invites Indigenous leaders to contribute their skills, talents, expertise, and lived experiences through their Skills Exchange network. By fostering a platform for collaboration, COYA Productions empowers individuals to effect change and create a positive impact within their communities.
We invite fellow settlers to reflect
The leaders of these impactful organizations work tirelessly to uplift their communities (in so many ways) and advance Indigenous People’s power, sovereignty and self-determination.
As a team of mostly Settler coaches and consultants, the majority of us living as uninvited guests on stolen land, we on the Purppl team are conscious of the vastness of that which we do not know or understand in relation to the lived experiences, traditions and ancestral knowledge of Indigenous people.
We’ve learned to focus on building respectful relationships; sometimes this means being an ally, champion and co-creator. At other times it can mean speaking up, or being quiet. Most importantly, it means being in relationship.
Reconciliation is unlikely to happen without respectful relationships.
We invite fellow Settlers reading these words to join us this Indigenous Peoples Day – and every day – in not only celebrating Indigenous entrepreneurs, but also in committing to building respectful relationships and a just, decolonized world.