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Métis Women’s Entrepreneur Conference Post-Event Report

On March 31 and April 1, 2023, Rupertsland Institute proudly hosted the first Métis Women’s Entrepreneur Conference in the Pomeroy Hotel in Grande Prairie.

Over the course of two days, over 164 Métis women from across Alberta came together to gain valuable skills, tools, resources, and connections to implement into their current or aspiring business venture to ensure further success, growth and sufficiency in self-employment ventures.

“It was very cool to see how the women who attended really seized the opportunity to network with fellow micro-business owners, such as creating an impromptu trade show in the lobby of the hotel.”
- Bailey Stefan-Houle, manager of Marketing & Communications at Rupertsland Institute and event emcee

Key topics focused on transfer of knowledge, decolonization, education, inspiration, and networking.

In the various keynote speeches, fireside chats, workshops, and Q&A sessions, attendees learned about a variety of topics such as how to turn art into an income stream, protect their intellectual property, how to inspire and attract others, how to begin to decolonize their work, support the growth of other female Métis micro-businesses, as well as Métis cultural components such as beading, cultural cooking, traditional medicines, and ribbon skirt teachings.

“The conference was an incredible opportunity to share my knowledge about agile project management with Metis women at all stages of their business journey, whether they’re thinking about starting or currently leading a business. Learning went both ways – I learned a lot from strong women running multiple businesses, and I was able to share some tools to help with prioritizing and time management. Maarsii for the connections built through this event!”
- Alicia Hibbert, founder of Edified Projects and facilitator of aen voyaazh (a journey): Growing a business from one person to a collective.

Attendees included the President and Vice-President of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Audrey Poitras and Dan Cardinal, Vice-President of Region 2 Andrea Sandmeier, Vice-President of Region 5 Shannon Dunfield, and President of the Métis National Council, Cassidy Caron, as well as Elder and Knowledge Keeper Angie Crerar. Entrepreneurs in attendance were able to visit Apeetogosan (Métis) Development Inc. to learn about funding for their businesses to further the skills learned at the conference.