A success for one is a success for all those who come after is the guiding philosophy employed by Mallory Yawnghwe, the founder and CEO of Indigenous Box and a Cree from Onihcikiskowapowin, Saddle Lake First Nation #125 in Treaty Six Territory
Mallory believes it essential to build bridges and collaborate to elevate Indigenous businesses. This conviction, the love for her community, and pride in inheriting and carrying on her legacy of greatness motivated her to start the business. This led to the launch of Indigenous Box, which is a lot more than just a box.
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 and enter new market spaces. It was launched in March 2021 with good intentions, strong teaching and a good heart and is a movement of thousands of Canadians coming together to create the future they want to see.
Mallory was always fascinated with the world of Supply Chain Management, which eventually led her to obtain her own Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP). She believes the Indigenous people were this continent’s original supply chain network. She says that the continent’s Indigenous peoples were responsible for operating a vast trading network that spanned turtle islands. Along with fur, they traded knives, obsidian, metal, fabric, fresh meat, European wares and more. Thus trade has always been a part of the Indigenous way of life and integral to their story of the prairies. Indigenous Box is Mallory’s way of re-establishing the original supply.
Mallory considers herself a social entrepreneur who loves creating events that bring people together to foster creative entrepreneurship and celebrate the magnificent accomplishments of Indigenous artists and entrepreneurs. Her most rewarding work was during her time as a regional representative for Indspire, an organization created to help Indigenous students succeed in school. It was in these sessions that she began to tell her story about leaving home in search of higher education, and it was here that she recognized her ability and drive to help others.
When Mallory started dreaming about the Indigenous Box project, she was already buying from Indigenous entrepreneurs. She was always looking for new businesses, buying their products, and sharing about them with friends, family, and on social media.
Mallory wants the Indigenous people to reclaim their rightful place in those spaces and roles taken from them. Mallory has a lot of respect and admiration for Indigenous entrepreneurs and what they stand for, as they make their path and thrive against a history when the people were not allowed to participate in any form of commerce, weren’t allowed to be themselves and live by their ways, and were not allowed to be equal members of society.
Mallory firmly believes that Indigenous people are claiming their due place at the economic table and taking control of their future. Indigenous Box’s mission is thus to promote and elevate the good work done by Indigenous entrepreneurs as they are guided by values based on the teachings of shared abundance through reciprocity and connectedness.
Indigenous Box is committed to transparency, fairness, humility, continuous learning, and bold action at its core. Mallory created the box because the younger generation is watching who, along with the Indigenous entrepreneurs, are leading their communities into a new world of possibility. Through Indigenous Box, she tries to shine light on some of the incredible Indigenous entrepreneurs.
Indigenous Box is a celebration of the intrepid and entrepreneurial spirit their ancestors gave them and of generational resilience and determination against great odds. It works to champion Indigenous people’s true legacy of their ingenuity, resourcefulness, industriousness, intentionality, purposefulness, ability, cooperation and greatness.
Indigenous Box strives for economic reconciliation by re-establishing the original supply chain because it recognizes that entrepreneurs are the world’s future leaders and that Indigenous people are transforming it. To know more about their work, visit their website https://www.indigenousbox.ca/.
Indigenous entrepreneurs bring innovative and diverse ideas to business, thus helping improve their community. To read more on the topic, subscribe to CanadianSME Small Business Magazine https://lnkd.in/dbqmSKN. For the latest updates, visit our Twitter page at @canadian_sme.