Celebrating Generation One: Animikii Marks 20 Years in the Spirit of Seven Generations

2023-11-06 Share story


As we celebrate 20 years of Animikii, we're looking back and casting our vision forward to the next six generations. Inspired by the Indigenous principle of planning for Seven Generations, we see today as the culmination of one generation’s effort in a journey extending far into the future.

Here are twenty memories, moments and highlights from the past 20 years! 

1) Unity in Innovation

Reflecting on our journey, the dedication and innovation of our team members - past and present - has been fundamental to our ability to deliver the technology Indigenous communities need. Thunderbirds collective efforts have shaped Animikii into a leading Indigenous technology company.

2) The Power of Partnerships

Over the years, we’ve joined hands with countless Indigenous-focused organizations, a collaboration that has enriched us and made our solutions more culturally sensitive and effective.

3) Working with Senator Thelma Chalifoux

One of our first projects was crafting a website for Senator Thelma Chalifoux’s organization. Senator Chalifoux was the first Indigenous woman and fourth Métis person to be appointed to the Canadian Senate. This project early in our journey set a high bar, as we learned alot about authentic representation of Indigenous people online. 

4) Launching Our CMS

The launch of our Content Management System, then called YikeSite, in 2007 marked a significant moment in Animikii's technological journey. It showcased our capability to create intuitive digital tools, and laid a solid foundation for many more innovations to come.

5) San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Launches

In 2010, Animikii helped San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety program make change with the launch of its online training platform. This pivotal moment expanded access to crucial cultural education, fostering a safer environment for Indigenous communities.

6) Animikii launched its scholarship program 

In 2015 we launched our scholarship program, extending our commitment to education and fostering the next generation of Indigenous leaders. This initiative provides unrestricted funds for financial support for postsecondary students to use as they see fit. To date Animikii has supported 16 students with $500 scholarships. 

7) Advocacy for a National Day for Indigenous Peoples

In 2016, Jeff passionately advocated for the recognition of National Aboriginal Day as a statutory holiday in an article published in the Globe and Mail. This advocacy extended to a petition to the House of Commons, reflecting a significant stride moment in Animikii’s journey towards supporting reconciliation and underscoring our belief in the power of advocacy. 

8) Indigenous Innovation at TEDx 

Jeff’s TEDx talk at RoyalRoadsU showcased the rich legacy of Indigenous inventiveness, highlighting how "innovation means looking back to go forward", a guiding principle that continues to resonate with our mission at Animikii.

9) Achieving B Corp Certification and Launching our Annual Social Impact Reports

In 2016 Animikii became the first Indigenous B Corp in Canada, affirming our ethical standards and commitment to community.This year also marked the first time Animikii released its Social Impact Report, setting a precedent for annual publications that have continued ever since. The report serves as a key instrument for gauging and communicating the company's dedication to social impact and accountability.

10) A Milestone Recognition in 2019: Indigenous Business of the Year 

Being named the 2019 BC Indigenous Business Awardee for Business of the Year in the 11+ person enterprise category was a milestone and a moment to celebrate our partnerships, and the shared journey of creating incredible technology for Indigenous communities. We were the first company to bring its whole team up on stage to receive the award.

11) Indigenous Innovators Initiative

Launched in 2016, our Indigenous Innovators initiative is a collective project to spotlight global Indigenous individuals making positive community impacts, part of showcasing our dedication to promoting Indigenous narratives and innovations.

12) Empowering Voices Through Auntie Up!

Our multi-year sponsorship of the "Auntie Up!" podcast not only celebrated Indigenous women but also highlighted the importance of authentic narratives in fostering community understanding and cohesion.

13) Unveiling the Indigenous Data Sovereignty eBook

The launch of our eBook was a notable venture into exploring and sharing the complex world of Indigenous technology, innovation, and data sovereignty.

14) Working with Indian Horse film team

The #Next150 campaign, app, and website launched alongside the Indian Horse film, played a significant role in furthering the dialogue on Truth and Reconciliation. These platforms offered critical avenues for educating the public and fostering meaningful engagement on Indigenous history and cultural understanding. Several years later, we worked with the same production company to build the website for Bones of Crows, a multi-generational epic on the effects of the residential school system on a Cree family. 

15) Scaling Social Impact with Raven Capital & BDC 

Raising $1M to scale our social impact through Indigenous Technology was a significant leap towards realizing our long-term goals for community empowerment.

16) The Creation of our Data Platform, Niiwin

The development of Niiwin, our tool for Indigenous data sovereignty and community empowerment, marked a milestone in our journey towards providing culturally informed technology solutions.

17) Supporting Kids & Families at Animikii

The journey began with Anim, whose video "helping" Jeff still brings smiles to our team. As more kids appeared on camera during virtual meetups and in person during gatherings, their interactions became cherished moments, adding warmth and familial bond to our daily collaborations. During the pandemic and beyond, Animikii implemented expanded flexibility and policies aimed at supporting families.

18) Memorable Retreats: Culture and Connection 

Our retreats, whether in-person or virtual, have always been special with shared cooking experiences, diverse food, and cultural activities. They are times of thankfulness and bonding for the entire Animikii team.

19) Cultivating Courage to Love in 2022

Setting the lofty goal of tracking “1,000 Acts of Love” across our organization was a reflection of our intent to decolonize through love and meaningful relations.

20) Today! Celebrating with Animikii’s Incredible Thunderbirds and Partners 

Today we are celebrating and looking ahead. What’s next for Animikii? Our team is excited to continue our legacy of innovation and social impact. We will build on our collective skills and the diverse perspectives of team members. We’re ready to kick off another generation of meaningful product creation, projects and community engagement.