The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a landmark document that serves as international recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide, who are defined as belonging to any of the original peoples living in North America, Central America, South America, Australia and New Zealand before colonization.

Due to this definition, many Indigenous people have seen entrepreneurship as a means for economic empowerment and self-determination (once again). Outside of their cultural context, however, most people think about Indigenous entrepreneurship with limited understanding.

Indigenous people are often looked at as an underprivileged group. This is largely because Indigenous people don’t always have the same opportunities as others in Westernized nations. However, it’s important to remember that Indigenous people are incredibly resourceful people who are very skilled in making and trading goods for thousands of years before the colonisation/genocide of their nations. Here are some tips for being a successful Indigenous entrepreneur.

How To Be An Indigenous Entrepreneur - From a First Nation Perspective

Indigenous Entrepreneur Tips

Drop your expectations, Start small.

Leslie Dingo

Get expert advice, plan a, plan b and be prepared to change your plans.. reality is that Dreams sometimes are just not enough.

Julie Peers

Don’t over extend yourself (in all ways).

Pep Mardi

Get your offers and agreements in writing. Deed of intent or memorandums of understanding are not hand shake deals and don’t let others patronise you when you ask for ‘in writing’.

Juanita Wanda Halden

If you don’t believe in your product then no one else will. Get behind your self 💯 come over and check out my page Dhabiyaanbaa Maarumali.

Rosie Lang

Mentors are essential – invest the time in building relationships with potential mentors. Know what you need out of a mentor relationship. These people not only speak the language in the field you are entering your enterprise into but also offer guidance, advice and a sounding board. In moments of crisis or meltdown (these will happen) these people bring you back, refocus you and get you back in your journey. This is my main advice so far!

Leroy Wilkinson-Maher


Troy Benjamin

Focus & Believe in yourself.

Deborah Campbell Wilkins

What do you think it takes to be an Indigenous entrepreneur?

When did it become a requirement to be born on or off of the reservation to make a living? For many Indigenous people, the answer is that it doesn’t matter. There is nothing stopping those who were not born on reservations from becoming successful. In fact, Indigenous entrepreneurs are out there and they have the power and resources needed to lead their communities forward.

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