A Fort St. James Indigenous entrepreneur is a participant in one of North America’s premier pitch competitions and stands a chance to win $25,000.
Auroara Leigh, founder and CEO of Simply Sacred Solutions was selected from 2,400 applicants to be a part of Pow Wow Pitch. A semi-finalist in the knowledge, workshops and storytelling category, Leigh’s pitch involves a one-minute video to raise funds for a music medicine/wellness tour that she has been designing for the past five years.
Pow Wow Pitch, which describes itself as a grassroots community by and for Indigenous entrepreneurs, is in its eighth year. Applicants sent in their pitches between April 6 and June 21.
“The competition is uplifting Indigenous entrepreneurs to be able to go to the next level in their business,” she said. “Being an Indigenous entrepreneur is a big responsibility because it means that I am honouring all of those who have passed their wisdom to me and hoping that I do it justice.”
Her idea involves bringing a combination of music and wellness on tour to different communities in the province. Leigh said in doing so she plans to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. He also travelled across B.C. with music.
With a Master’s degree in trauma-informed safe spaces, she decided to use music to create a safe space for people to come together and have conversations that are usually the most challenging and the most important to have.
She said she wanted to make a difference with the power of connection, kindness and creating a safe space for vulnerability.
“As a Métis woman, I can’t help but build bridges and walk in multiple worlds, and we have a special gift as Métis people because it isn’t an easy dance to do. But, if we don’t create the dance floor, then how can we anticipate others to join in?”
The finalists will be announced on Aug. 9. The public can also vote through the people’s choice awards on powwowpitch.org