Stantec Women In Business Panel
The 5th annual panel will highlight and recognize the significant impact that Indigenous women entrepreneurs have on the Canadian economy. Panelists will share their experiences of being a woman in business.
Congratulations to this year's panelists!
Deanna Burgart P.Eng, CET is self-proclaimed Indigeneer™; engineer, speaker, and mentor that has a talent for identifying gaps and providing solutions to systemic, organizational and transformational change. She brings over 20 years of experience and education in oil, gas, and pipelines and is passionate about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People. She helps STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focused organizations and educators operationalize Indigenous inclusion in their work. She leads mentoring circles for Indigenous people in STEM, business and entrepreneurship and works with organizations seeking to improve their relationships with Indigenous communities. She is a co-founder of IndigeSTEAM – an Indigenous Youth Outreach non-profit. As a Director with the APEGA Foundation and Indigenous Advisor to the United Way, her volunteer efforts are focused around Indigenous youth and community outreach, and it is her dream to see more diverse perspectives in STEM professions.
Jacquelyn Cardinal is Sakāwithiniwak from the Sucker Creek Cree First Nation and the Co-founder and Managing Director at Naheyawin, an Edmonton-based consulting firm specializing in Indigenous knowledge and design. In addition to building capacity to help Indigenous businesses succeed, Naheyawin aims to assist non-Indigenous business and organizations in more effectively engaging with their First Nations, Metis, and Inuit audiences. In the past year, Jacquelyn has worked with clients such as the University of Alberta, the Senate of Canada, and the Edmonton Community Foundation.
Gee & Gee Racing Inc.
Ruth Chambers-Gee is a citizen of Champagne Aishihik First Nation and currently resides in Leduc, Alberta. Her husband Tim Gee had a passion to race sprint cars and from 1981 to 1991. At that time they lived in Jamestown, Indianapolis and travelled throughout the United States racing with the “World of Outlaws”. In June of 1991 Tim retired from racing and they returned to Canada residing in Leduc, Alberta. Once they were back in Leduc they made the decision to start the business Gee & Gee Racing Inc. Through many hard hours, tears and exhaustion they pushed through together to keep the business successful and functioning. There are three employees currently working for Gee & Gee Racing Inc. which includes Ruth, her partner and an additional employee. Gee's success stems from her ability to manage and achieve balance within her life. She pushes herself to continue to learn, inspire and motivate others. Growing up in a traditional First Nation household and in the communities of Whitehorse and Champagne, Yukon, Mrs. Gee embraced her culture growing up and applied her traditional knowledge of the land to her work ethic.
When Janice Larocque decided to open Spirit Staffing in 1998, she wasn’t just starting a company - she created a way to help the Indigenous community find employment opportunities. As a Métis-woman in the corporate world, Janice experienced many employment issues based on stereotypes about Indigenous employees. Determined to dispel those myths and to help Indigenous Peoples advance, she has worked tirelessly, building her company's reputation on being able to bridge the gap between Indigenous employees and the corporate world. Janice continues to seek change, recognizing the need to incorporate diversity solutions into the workplace. She has worked with First Nation and Métis communities for over 30 years, serving as a mentor. Janice strives to create positive change by ensuring Indigenous Peoples receive equal employment opportunities. In 1996 she managed the transfer of federal funding to First Nations communities, allowing Indigenous peoples to administer their own employment and training programs. Because of her aspirations, personal drive, and achievements, Spirit Staffing has helped thousands of people obtain careers in various fields. Recognized by both the corporate community and Indigenous peoples, Janice has won thirteen awards for her work. She is determined to share her vision and leadership until her goal of Indigenous inclusion becomes commonplace.
The Women in Business Panel is proudly sponsored by Stantec