Business

This Million-Dollar Design Agency Empowers Indigenous ‘Warriors’

Animikii, which helps Indigenous-focused organisations make an impact through technology, recently raised $1m in financing.

12.02.2020 | by Christy Romer
Photo of Animiiki
Photo of Animiiki

Who said you can’t combine business success with doing good in the world?

Animikii, a Canada-based design agency, is doing just that. The company — whose name translates as ‘Thunderbird’ from the Anishinaabemowin language — develops custom software and websites for Indigenous-focused organisations.

Animikii also offers support with developing digital strategies and communications; workshops on robotics and social media optimisation; and technology and entrepreneurship scholarships for Indigenous youth.

To date, the company has supported adult education initiatives, agriculture projects and social justice drives — including web services for the Songhees Peoples, who live in the area in which Animiiki is headquartered.

“Each and every one of us, indigenous and non indigenous, has been called upon to do better and to rise up,” Animikii says in an explanatory video on Twitter.

 

 

“Warriors everywhere are rising up for equitable outcomes for indigenous peoples.

“We at Animiiki believe our call to action is to support all of these warriors in their journey by using the tools available to us. Our answer to that call, our weapon and tool of choice, is technology.”

Web designer Jeff Ward, himself Ojibwe and Métis, founded Animikii in 2003. The company is the first Indigenous B Corp in Canada and a Certified Aboriginal Business member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB).

In Summer 2019, his company raised $750,000 in investment from Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, and recieved a $250,000 loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada. Ward pledged to use the funds to “lead the way for other Indigenous tech companies to access capital at this level in the future.”

Animikii stresses that it operates according to core values of love, courage, respect, honesty, wisdom, truth and humility.

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