Inaugural Indigenous Leaders Speaker Series event to highlight local entrepreneur

Niagara entrepreneur Jenn Harper, founder of sustainable and socially conscious cosmetics company Cheekbone Beauty, will be honoured at Brock University’s inaugural Indigenous Leaders Speaker Series next week.

The online event will take place on National Indigenous Peoples Day Monday, June 21 from 7 to 8 p.m. and is a partnership between the University’s Indigenous Engagement Office and the Goodman School of Business.

Harper will be joined in conversation with Robyn Bourgeois, Brock’s Acting Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement, to discuss her journey and Cheekbone’s commitment to sustainability, including the business’s core pillars of economic, educational and environmental good.

“Jenn Harper is an exemplary Indigenous leader who has translated Indigenous ways of knowing and doing — reciprocity, ecological responsibility and creativity — into a successful business model,” Bourgeois said. “She’s someone who has overcome great odds to get where she is today and is the epitome of Indigenous excellence.”

For Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes, the new Indigenous Leaders Speaker Series is not only an important opportunity for the School to amplify the voices of Indigenous business leaders, but also a chance for students to hear first-hand from a leader committed to doing business in a socially and environmentally sustainable way.

“Goodman is committed to providing resources for building sustainable change in our classrooms, community and world,” Gaudes said. “Jenn Harper is a leader who embodies that commitment completely in her life and business practices, and we are excited for her to share her story with our community.”

For her work, Harper has been recognized as one of Chatelaine’s 2019 Women of the Year, named among RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award’s Ones to Watch in 2020 and Cheekbone Beauty was awarded the 2019 Social Enterprise of the Year award in Ontario by Start Up Canada, in addition to other local and national honours.

Cheekbone Beauty is committed to helping close the educational funding gap that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, donating 10 per cent of its profits to the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. Harper also strives to educate as many Canadians as possible about the Residential School System and the effects it had on her family and friends through decades of generational trauma.

To receive a link to the free community speaker series event, register online here.

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