Entrepreneur Excellence Awards
January 20, 2023
Rupertsland Institute is proud to announce the winners of the Métis Entrepreneurial Excellence awards. Nine talented Métis business owners were recognized in a ceremony on the evening of January 20, 2022.
In a message to the winners, Mark McCallum, CEO of Rupertsland Institute congratulates all of the winners, said; “the Métis have long been known for their entrepreneurial spirit, and it is clear that this lives on in the many successful Metis entrepreneurs, who we honoured at the first-ever Rupertsland Metis Entrepreneurial Excellence Gala. On behalf of the Rupertsland Board of Governors, we are proud to have supported you in pursuing your dreams. Congratulations!”
Nine Awards were given out across three categories.
Lifesong Yoga Studio
Wanita Demman is a yoga teacher, mother, and owner of Lifesong Yoga Studio. She was the recipient of a Cultural Connector award at the Rupertsland Institute Métis Entrepreneurial Excellence event.
Wanita’s love for yoga stems from her love for community. Over the last three years, she had to adapt her practice from being exclusively in-person to fit the ever-changing world. RLI has helped support her business through offering a network of programs that educated her in all-aspects of owning her own business as well as by providing educational support for her children.
Jordan Joliceur is the owner of Carvel Electric, an electrical service company who predominantly works with Indigenous communities and energy companies. Jordan was the recipient of a Cultural Connector award at the Rupertsland Institute Métis Entrepreneurial Excellence event.
Jordan’s favourite part of being a business owner is the ability to create his own path and meet new people. After taking the company over from his father in the early 2010s, at the beginning of the oil crash, he took it upon himself to pave his way as a young Indigenous entrepreneur. Rupertsland Institute (RLI) helps Carvel Electric with the onboarding of Métis talent; through assistance in funding for personal protective equipment, tools, and safety tickets so more Métis individuals can enter the electricity trade.
Seanna & Tristan
Seanna and Tristan Savill aren’t just siblings, they’re the owners and creators of sôhkatwâwin, a ready-made-bannock mix. They were the recipients of a Cultural Connector award at the Rupertsland Institute Métis Entrepreneurial Excellence event.
The idea for sohkastwâwin, the Cree word for “the act of being resilient” came from their mother. They see their business as a way to share their culture with other people. Rupertsland Institute helped the siblings learn how to run their business through a small offering of classes that were available for Métis youth under 18. Seanna looks forward to turning 18 so she can take more classes and courses from Rupertsland.
Holden Ekeberg is a personal trainer, father, and owner of Forward Fitness. He was the recipient of a Start-Up Recognition award at the Rupertsland Institute Métis Entrepreneurial Excellence event.
Holden has always been passionate about fitness and hopes to pass the love of being active on to both his son and his clients. Rupertsland Institute supported Holden financially through his schooling to become a personal trainer, while Apeetogosan was able to financially aid him with the purchase of the equipment necessary to allow Holden to work from home and support his family.
Sacred Serenity Massage
Michelle Morlidge is a massage therapist, recent graduate, mom, and owner of Sacred Serenity Massage. She was the recipient of a Start-Up Recognition award at the Rupertsland Institute Métis Entrepreneurial Excellence event.
Michelle loves her job so much that if she won the lottery, she would choose to come to work for free. After graduating with her diploma in advanced therapeutic massage in 2022, Michelle experienced several family tragedies and hardships. She credits Rupertsland Institute with helping to complete her journey through education and onto entrepreneurship by offering education and employment counsellors and financial assistance through post-secondary.
Nathan Gall is an eavestrough service professional and the owner of Guardian Eavestrough. He was the recipient of a Start-Up Recognition award at Rupertsland Institute Métis Entrepreneurial Excellence event.
Nathan’s love for his work came after a friend of his introduced him to the trade of eavestroughing during a low time in his life. He has since owned and operated his own eavestroughing business, with no sign of slowing down. RLI supported him through offering courses that taught him valuable information about business ownership.
I Love Microgreens
Lindsay Beaulieu is an organic farmer and the owner of I Love Microgreens, an organic microgreens farm and salad company. She was the recipient of an Innovator award Rupertsland Institute Métis Entrepreneurial Excellence event.
Lindsay and her husband started their business in 2015 and has since grown from one pack of seeds and a grow light, to three farms that feed over 300 families every month. Her Métis culture informs the care, love, and good intentions that Lindsay hopes comes through in the food they grow. She credits Rupertsland Institute with helping to introduce her to other Métis entrepreneurs, offering her a whole new community.
The Memphis Group
Ross Pambrun is a fire officer, podcast host, and the CEO and owner of The Memphis Group, an environmental monitoring company focused on protecting communities with artificial intelligence and cyber innovation. He was the recipient of an Innovator award at the Rupertsland Institute Métis Entrepreneurial Excellence event.
Ross is passionate about combating climate change. After taking the Entrepreneur Workshops from Rupertsland Institute, he felt confident in his abilities to take his business to the next level.
Sherry Brown is a single mom, dayhome provider, and owner of Rainbow Dayhomes. She was the recipient of an Innovator award at the Rupertsland Institute Métis Entrepreneurial Excellence event.
Sherry started her business after registering her son for kindergarten as a way to be there for her own kids, as well as offer her services to other families who may not have the help or support they need. She was able to use Rupertsland Institute during the pandemic to help keep her doors open through both the COVID Relief funds and the micro-business grants offered during the pandemic.
Congratulations to the winners!