Indigenous Co-operatives in Canada: Current State and New Opportunities


The first Indigenous-owned co-operative business only appeared in 1945 as a way for the Peter Ballantyne fishers at Kinoosao to collaborate. Since then, there have been over 130 co-ops created to serve Indigenous peoples across Canada. In this presentation, Kyle and Trista will give a historical overview of Canada’s Indigenous co-op sector identifying challenges entrepreneurs commonly face and new opportunities creating a renewed interest in the co-op model. Co-operatives First supports co-operative business development across western Canada’s rural and Indigenous communities.

Presented by: Trista Pewapisconias, Co-operatives First

Trista Pewapisconias is the Business Development Lead with Co-operatives First and a member of the Little Pine First Nation. Trista is a graduate of the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan and has extensive experience working on marketing, entrepreneurship, and business planning.