Cover Image for Indigenous Enterprises X Mastercard Partnership Fireside Chat

Indigenous Enterprises X Mastercard Partnership Fireside Chat

Avneet Takhar

4 min read

OneFeather was part of the guest panel for a two-day Mastercard partnership event which took place on June 3-4 at the Canadian headquarters located in Tkaronto (Toronto, ON), and The Globe and Mail offices.

In association with Mastercard's Indigenous Enterprises initiative, in which they work with and support talent and growth for Indigenous businesses through equal partnership, the important conversations were focused around connecting and scaling with technology for Indigenous communities. And with a clear emphasis on incorporating traditional values as the central goal.

The Globe and Mail 🍁
The Globe and Mail 🍁

Day 1: Indigenous Enterprises Roundtable

As the key leaders of the Indigenous organizations were undertaking an open discussion about how technology can be used to uphold the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action, speaking truth to assumptions made about Indigenous communities and technology, and the reasons why economic reconciliation is significant , the energy in the room was palpable for a path to creating change with an impact-driven approach.

"It's about how to use the technology effectively. Not just 'here's the cable wire- here's the Internet connection', it's about the infrastructures set up for communities." - Denis Carignan of Mi'kmaq heritage, President & Chief Impact Officer at Plato.

Indigenous Enterprises Roundtable
Indigenous Enterprises Roundtable

In an interesting sentiment summing up the essence of intertwining innovation with tradition, a resonant statement creating ripples of laughter and knowing nods across the room was spoken by Rhode Thomas, raised in Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and Executive Director at The Centre for Indigenous Innovation and Technology:

“I love hunted food, but I also like Uber Eats- how to combine the two in a DNA strand?”

We couldn't agree more with Rhode!
We couldn't agree more with Rhode!

As a whole, the roundtable was a collective of forward-thinking voices who are committed to moving the needle in development of technology for Indigenous peoples, by Indigenous peoples.

Day 2: Fireside Chat with Lawrence Lewis

In an intimate room full of the Mastercard team, OneFeather Founder Lawrence Lewis was leading a discussion on how technology plays a part in empowering Indigenous communities, the accessibility of technology to Indigenous folks in remote/ underserved areas and also how as individuals we can contribute to the efforts, hosted by Balinder Ahluwahlia, Senior President & Digital Partnerships Head at Mastercard.

"It's about unlocking funds that belong to Indigenous people with our technology and building systems for our communities that lift people up, rather than being extractive.

How we can contribute to reconciliation is being aware and informed. Understanding the history, which is bad and ugly - and how to we speak truth to what happened and be an ally to Indigenous peoples." - Lawrence Lewis, Founder at OneFeather.

Lawrence in full flow at the Mastercard fireside chat
Lawrence in full flow at the Mastercard fireside chat

As a closing event to the Mastercard partnership gatherings, it was a powerful dialogue speaking to the sustainability of Indigenous tech and reconciliation.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you're in luck as the full conversations will be available to listen to very soon with more details on OneFeather's partnership with Mastercard, so stay tuned! 🪶

➡️ By following us on TikTok you'll see all the latest info on the partnership, and we also suggest 📲 downloading the app now to reap the benefits of what's to come!