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Our support team, and their range of collective experiences, are here to help you achieve entrepreneurial success! NWAC employees can be contacted by email.
Kaleena Halmai is part Plains Cree and resides in Ottawa, Ontario. She is a young professional with a robust background in International Policy. Prior to Kaleena’s work at NWAC, she was an accredited freelance make-up artist and a salon operations officer. She knows the inner workings of daily business operations.
At the beginning of her formative career in the beauty industry, Kaleena was at the helm of front-of-house business operations. Although she began her professional career in an entirely different function than the one she is in today, she was keen on incorporating the promotion of Indigenous business into her operations through philanthropic events and Knowledge Sharing with colleagues.
Kaleena was awarded NWAC’s CEO Award of Excellence (2019). Through dedication and hard work, she has paved her way to the international human rights system. She has used her strengths in research and communication to write many essential documents for NWAC, and create positive relationships with external bodies. Kaleena continues to deepen her knowledge of national and international Indigenous issues through studying at the University of Ottawa for Indigenous Studies.
Loretta DeSousa has been an entrepreneur since 2019 and provides Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse entrepreneurs with support in growing and evolving their businesses.
Through working with NWAC’s Incubator Project and being a business owner, Loretta has found that resourcefulness and creativity are fundamental to being successful in an evolving business environment. Using this knowledge and experience, Loretta empowers and supports others, while being an essential asset for Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse entrepreneurs.
She holds a Master of Education, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and a Child and Youth Worker Diploma.
I am Lori a Navigator through Be The Drum, I am Pikwakanagan First Nation and reside in Kingston, Ont.
I have a Diploma in Equestrian Business Studies, working and managing various Equestrian businesses in the industry as well as owning, building and maintaining my own business for 9 years. I was a PSW for over 25 years and managed a popular retail store in the Kingston area. I am a mother of 3 children and enjoy spending time with my various fur babies.
I enjoy the process of assisting fellow entrepreneurs with developing, brain storming ideas and working through the trials and turbulations of seeing the business come to fruition and celebrate the accomplishments of all the wonderful women I can mentor through this process.
For assistance please contact me.
Michelle Eagle Tail Feathers
Michelle Eagle Tail Feathers
My name is Michelle Eagle Tail Feathers, I am a Blackfoot member from Kainai Nation in Treaty 7 Territory, and I reside in Lethbridge, AB. I have a bachelor’s degree in management with a major in First Nations Governance and a minor in International Management from the University of Lethbridge.
Prior to working with NWAC, I operated and ran my own business with Vector Marketing Canada, the distributor of Cutco Cutlery, as a District Manager for Southwestern Alberta. As an entrepreneur in the business, I excelled in sales, customer service, and mentorship with hands on experience as a Cutco sales rep. As my knowledge and skill set began to grow in the business, I then became an assistant manager, branch manager, field sales manager, and district manager where I had the privilege to grow, develop, and run my own teams and office in the business.
I have always believed in a balance of two worlds as an Indigenous female and giving back to my Indigenous community has always been my #1 priority. One of the ways I was able to do that through previous work experience was with the Family Centre in Lethbridge, AB. My first position there I was a Blackfoot program developer which allowed me to take a growing First Nations program and place it onto a Blackfoot framework and foundation by revamping the programs name and incorporating holistic Blackfoot teachings and ways of knowing in every aspect of the program making it more culturally relevant for the Indigenous community. I was a facilitator for the in person and online groups, a case manager for the program and a program coordinator for, All My Relations.
My passion is to empower, inspire and motivate Indigenous people. I believe in personal and professional development, and I love sharing my culture, knowledge, and experiences with others. I am big on dreaming and ideas and breaking down those dreams and ideas into smaller steps and setting goals to achieve them!