Sunshine Tenasco

Sunshine Tenasco

Pow Wow Pitch

Sunshine Tenasco is a mom of four kids from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg. She is a social entrepreneur and author who believes that business is an exciting place to create positive change. Sunshine launched Her Braids in 2015, a business that creates awareness about the issues of clean drinking water in First Nations communities through beaded pendants, workshops and her children's book, ‘Nibi's Water Song.’

She is also the Founder of Pow Wow Pitch, a non-profit that provides Indigenous entrepreneurs with a trusted community, mentorship, training, funds, customers and an audience to start and grow their business. Through Pow Wow Pitch, Sunshine is cultivating a culture of entrepreneurship in Indigenous communities across Turtle Island.

12:00 pm - 12:20 pm
Main Stage

Opening Ceremonies

Join Emcee Sunshine Tenasco, Kitigan Zibi Annishnebeg entrepreneur, author and activist, as she kicks off the 2023 SOAR Digital Gathering of Indigenous Entrepreneurs presented by Square and BDC.

Rachel Petero, Māori Founder of Rise Global, opens the SOAR gathering with a karakia (blessing), a ritual of Māori Indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand (Aotearoa) used to call upon and recognize the influence of atua (spiritual or supernatural beings/gods), our ancestors, and other aspects of the environment and our whakapapa (lineage/history) to invoke spiritual protection and guidance.

SacRED is a modern-day digital shape-shifter, storyteller through movement and medicine woman of the heart, on a mission to support all people and the planet to recognize truths of the past and present while returning to a natural rhythm of well-being for future generations. SacRED performs a spoken word and song that speaks to the rising of Indigenous leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Martin Gurerro, Square’s Policy Partnerships & Community Education and Sandra Odendahl, BDC’s Senior VP & Head of Sustainability and Diversity, share opening remarks as the co-presenting partners of the 2023.

12:30 pm - 1:05 pm
Main Stage

Opening Circle: Our Collective Rise through Building Community

Join esteemed Indigenous business leaders Jolene Laskey (Wabanaki Maple), Michaelee Lazore (Sequoia Soaps), and Jenn Harper (Cheekbone Beauty) as they share their entrepreneurial journeys. From challenges faced to milestones achieved, their tales emphasize the significance of community and collaboration. Together, they present a united front, championing the future of Indigenous entrepreneurship.

1:30 pm - 2:10 pm
Our Way Circles

Our Way Circle 1: Succeeding as Co-Founders

Venture into the heart of collaborative entrepreneurship with the dynamic duos behind MINI TIPI and Indi City. Trisha Pitura & Mélanie Bernard, alongside Angel Aubichon & Alex Manitopyes, unpack the journey of building Indigenous-led businesses with another entrepreneur. Discover the synergy of shared vision, the trials, triumphs, and the unmatched magic of co-creating legacies.