First Nation Entrepreneur
Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow is Ojibwe and a Band Member of Whitefish River First Nation located on Birch Island, Ontario in the District of Manitoulin island and is the founder of the Innovative First Nations social enterprise, Birch Bark Coffee Company and he is on a mission to change Indigenous lives across Canada.
Birch Bark Coffee Co. is new start-up that was established in March of 2018 and is proud to offer Organic, Fair Trade and SPP Certified (Small Producers Symbol) coffee.
Indigenous people in Canada continue to live in third world like conditions and Mark’s goal is to educate the world that Birch Bark Coffee Company can and will make a difference one coffee bag at a time.
Mark was inspired by his community, Birch trees and the connection the trees had to his Indigenous heritage. Birch trees have been relied upon for many centuries by First Nations people, European settlers, and Voyageurs for transporting food, medicine, paper, canoes and crafts.
The trees remain an iconic resource today still providing medicines, jewellery and crafts and throughout Canadian History the Birch trees have increased the quality of life in so many ways, for so many people, and ironically, the quintessential coffee bean share similar traditional legends.
BIRCH BARK COFFEE COMPANY:
Birch Bark Coffee Company is cause-driven whose primary existence is to improve on- going social issues for Indigenous families with a focus on creating a positive community change. Sustainable revenue still plays an essential role in our venture and Birch Bark Coffee Company’s goal is to become a highly profitable social enterprise to ensure the foundation is a secure and sound venture. Mark’s speaking engagements aim to inspire future aspiring entrepreneurs interested in the Global shifts in social enterprises as it becomes part of a new movement in business and entrepreneurship.
Birch Bark Coffee Company endeavours to be a revenue-generating business with a twist that maintains a balance between Indigenous social missions and the productivity of the coffee venture.
A FOOTPRINT FOR CHANGE:
Nbiish (water) is a sacred element that we have been blessed with upon mother earth. As we continue to pollute our waters with contaminates, our water continues to struggle as it tries to purify itself. Water in so many ways is connected to our very existence, yet we forget water to be one of our greatest medicines.
We believe that leaving a clean ecological footprint is fundamental for positive changes in our communities and for our future generations. Through story telling Mark challenge’s the nation and people to believe in themselves and to discover their purpose in life so that they can make a difference in their own personal life or in other people’s lives.
Our footprints must hold faith and dreams for a better future. They must hold encouragement and family support.
Our footprints must hold the medicines of mother earth and the knowledge to care for her, so the lands and waters may flourish.
Our footprints must have a balance to ensure we are emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally connected.
Our footprints must contain the 7 Grandfather Teachings, Love, Respect, Humility, Bravery, Truth, and Honesty in order that we may live a good life, the path we choose will make a world of difference for all our relations, waters, and lands to follow.
Mark’s purpose is quite simple, bring clean drinking water to the Indigenous communities and bring smiles to the children’s faces.
Link to: Video
Miigwetch,Nia:wen,Hai Hai,Merci,Kinanaskotmitin,Qujannamiik, Wela'lin
Founder of Birch Bark Coffee Company