Canada and it’s Indigenous Community

Canada and it's Indigenous Community

By Darian Kovacs

With a population of 38 million people, Canada features a diverse population and rich cultural heritage. Despite this diversity, the digital landscape of Canada is less than reflective of those who live here. Since first incepted, the world of digital marketing has been largely dominated by a single voice and perspective. Minority groups in Canada are working to make their voices heard and increase opportunities to access the same digital spaces. Increasing digital equity can introduce a more representative voice in the Canadian media and digital marketing landscape.

The Growth in Indigenous Businesses in Canada

Canadian Indigenous Businesses are currently growing at a rapid rate, on average nine times faster than non-indigenous businesses. As a result, we are seeing more and more Indigenous Canadians embrace their culture and use it to promote their products, services, and values within their communities and business operations. From Sephora’s recent inclusion of Indigenous activists and beauty lines to the increase of authentic Indigenous tourism opportunities across the country, there is an increase in both supply and demand.

What Being Indigenous Means

In Canada, there is a trend of referring to Indigenous Peoples under the umbrella acronym, BIPOC. Using a blanket term, such as BIPOC, increases the treatment of Indigenous professionals as diversity hires or token employees. This term diminishes the unique cultures and heritage of Canadians by failing to acknowledge the individuality of the people it references. Indigenous Peoples celebrate the uniqueness of their individual communities and communicate their individuality through the stories and businesses they operate. Being an Indigenous person in Canada means many things and it’s time for unique Indigenous perspectives to be shared.

Transforming Growth into Long Term Success

Indigenous Canadians are finding ways to improve digital literacy amongst business owners, entrepreneurs, and youth. Having proper tools and training helps Indigenous businesses to better stabilize this rapid growth and turn it into long-term success. Canadian Indigenous Peoples can now access a variety of programs, certifications, and courses, designed to increase opportunity in the digital landscape. These programs are designed to improve digital literacy and better equip people with the tools, certifications, and skillsets required to work in digital marketing. Several recommended programs can be accessed by Indigenous Canadians looking for both digital-specific and more generalized education opportunities:

  • Indspire: An Indigenous charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people across Canada. The organization helps by providing the tools required to complete one’s education and acts as a catalyst for Indigenous people to achieve their full potential.
  • Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses: CCAB builds bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, businesses, and communities through diverse programming, providing tools, training, network building, major business awards, and national events. The council works to increase opportunities for Indigenous people by approaching the business and digital landscape in an informed and professional manner. 
  • First Nations Tech Council: BC-based organization, First Nations Tech Council (FNTC) works to ensure that Indigenous peoples have full and equitable access to the tools, training and support to maximize the opportunities presented by technology and innovation. Programs offered ranged from fundamentals and basic computer comprehension to more detailed and specific technical careers. 
  • Jelly Academy: Founded by Indigenous Entrepreneur, Darian Kovacs, Jelly Academy is a digital marketing course designed to educate all Canadians in the fundamentals of digital marketing. Jelly Academy strives to be accessible by offering scholarships and advanced learning opportunities for Indigenous students. 

Written by Darian Kovacs

Darian Kovacs: Darian Kovacs is the Indigenous founder of Vancouver-based SEO company Jelly Marketing and digital marketing course, Jelly Academy. He brings 15 years of marketing experience and a passion for education, and creativity.  He is the host of the podcast Marketing News Canada. Darian specializes in mixing PR with digital marketing and has worked with numerous internationally renowned brands on developing and executing their digital marketing and PR strategies.

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