Mallory Yawnghwe, founder and CEO of Indigenous Box, will be honoured at Brock University’s Indigenous Leaders Speaker Series Tuesday, June 21.
The online event, which will take place on National Indigenous Peoples Day from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., is a partnership between the University’s Office of the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement and the Goodman School of Business.
Yawnghwe will be joined in conversation by Robyn Bourgeois, Brock’s Acting Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement, to discuss her journey and her company’s values, which are based on the teachings of shared abundance through reciprocity and connectedness.
“During the pandemic, I watched Mallory, this remarkable Nêhiyaw iskwew (Cree woman) build a business that not only secured her own success, but also that of Indigenous creators, entrepreneurs and knowledge carriers across Turtle Island,” Bourgeois said. “This is an excellent example of a decolonial approach to business that we can all learn something from.”
Indigenous Box is a subscription box and corporate gift service that promotes Indigenous entrepreneurship by creating opportunities for emerging, under-represented and established Indigenous businesses to reach new customers.
“Indigenous entrepreneurs are taking up room in spaces that weren’t made for them,” Yawnghwe said. “They are doing it for their families, their communities and for future generations.”
And the economic impact is powerful.
“With a $33-billion economy projected to triple in the next few years, we are the youngest and fastest growing population, starting businesses at nine times the national average,” she said. “Just imagine what that looks like in 10 years from now.
“I started Indigenous Box to tell the world that Indigenous business is so much more than people think,” Yawnghwe said. “We are still here, we are equal players and we are taking our seat at the table.”
For Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes, the Indigenous Leaders Speaker Series is not only an important opportunity for the business school to amplify the voices of Indigenous leaders, but also for students and the community to hear first-hand from an entrepreneur dedicated to elevating the work being done by Indigenous entrepreneurs.
“Goodman is committed to providing resources for building sustainable change in our classrooms, community and world,” Gaudes said. “Mallory Yawnghwe embodies that fully with her passion for championing Indigenous entrepreneurs and desire to inform and enlighten the broader community of the rich legacy of Indigenous people.”
Yawnghwe, from Saddle Lake Cree Nation in northeastern Alberta, has a Bachelor of Commerce in supply chain management and has attended the Coady Institute’s Indigenous Women in Community leadership program as a student, alumna and now staff.
She’s honed her supply chain skills building schools and hospitals with the Government of Alberta and shared her knowledge and community ties as a consultant for projects such as the Royal Alberta Museum’s Human History Exhibit and Fort Edmonton Park’s Indigenous People’s Experience.
This is the second annual Indigenous Leaders Speaker Series with Jenn Harper, founder of Cheekbone Beauty, being honoured at the first.
To receive a link to the free community event, register online through the speaker series website.