In-Person Event

Taking Steps in B.C

Thursday, March 21st, 2024

8:30 AM – 4:00 PM PT



Invest Vancouver Office

Metrotower III, 4515 Central Boulevard Burnaby

BC V5H 4J5


Join Impact United for a 1-day in-person event, ‘Taking Steps in B.C‘!

As part of Impact United’s mandate to provide members of the community with knowledge and insights, we look to identify issues and challenges in the social finance sector in Canada where there are opportunities to take collective action in collaboration with partners and funders.  One of the issues we have identified is the lack of private capital for Indigenous-led enterprises.

Over the past twelve months, we have facilitated a series of workshops across Canada to bring together Indigenous entrepreneurs, investors and intermediaries to better understand the financing challenges for Indigenous-led enterprises and look for ways to address them. Last year, an initial report was released in February entitled “Pathways Forward“. It was followed by a companion report released last October entitled “Taking Steps”.

Building on the “Taking Steps” report, Impact United is now looking to share the report’s insights to connect those interested in working together to help Indigenous-led enterprises attract more investment capital.

Join us for a panel discussion sharing perspectives on the report, networking sessions profiling Indigenous enterprises, and breakout sessions on “Re-Imagining the Language of Finance” and “Indigenous Perspectives on Economic Sustainability.”

This event is a must-attend for investors, asset owners, Indigenous entrepreneurs, trust officers, financial managers of First Nations communities, intermediaries, leaders from academic institutions, and community representatives.

If you are interested in attending, hit one of the registration buttons on this page.

Master of Ceremonies

Geena Jackson

Geena Jackson


Geena Jackson is a devoted advocate for Indigenous rights, self-determination, and economic development with over 25 years of experience serving First Nation communities and the industry at large. As a proud member of the Shishalh Nation (Sechelt), she is deeply committed to strengthening Indigenous communities through strategic partnerships with industry experts and government bodies.

Over the years, Geena has been instrumental in helping over 750 Indigenous entrepreneurs grow their businesses and social enterprises.

Her commitment to Indigenous economic growth has only grown with the creation of the Bears’ Lair TV show on APTN. Geena created and is a core judge on the Bears Lair TV show and has been successful with two seasons so far. This unique platform is dedicated to supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs on a national scale, offering them exposure, guidance, and opportunities to scale their ventures and an opportunity to win a grand prize of $100,000. From the show Geena has also created Beyond the Lair, a podcast elevating Indigenous entrepreneurs and organizations that are making a difference.

In addition, Geena has created the Bears’ Lair Youth Dream Camps that teach Indigenous youth 11-18 years old all over Canada about entrepreneurism, life skills and creating tools for success in their futures. To date she has facilitated 25 camps in 2023 and will be facilitating 40 additional camps for 2024, educating, elevating, and inspiring over 1000 Indigenous youth across the country.

Geena’s passion for fostering economic development within Indigenous communities, combined with her wealth of experience and entrepreneurial spirit, makes her an impactful figure in the realm of Indigenous economic advancement. Through her initiatives, she continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Indigenous economies and future Indigenous Leaders.

Panel Moderator

Kris Archie

Kris Archie

The Circle on Philanthropy

Kris Archie is a Secwepemc and Seme7 woman from Ts’qescen, a mother, an aunty and an engaged community member. She is also the Chief Executive Officer for The Circle on Philanthropy (The Circle). Kris is a long time practitioner of hosting conversations that matter and currently works to transform philanthropy and contribute lasting systemic change by creating spaces for shared learning and centering Indigenous wisdom. Her biggest joy is working alongside a creative and engaged group of humans surrounding The Circle, from the staff team to Governing Circle directors and members.  She has worked to create a workplace and a member network who truly think and do their work differently – and do that good work together for the purpose of redistributing wealth. 

She is a PLACES Fellow Alum of 2016 with The Funders Network, a board member with Environment Funders Canada and a Dialogue Fellow with Simon Fraser University focused on Indigenous ways of knowing and Philanthropy. She loves live music, her puppy Pepper and swimming at any pésellkwe in Secwepemc territories.


Heather Tanaka

Heather Tanaka

InBC Investment Corp.

Heather Tanaka is an Investment Principal at InBC Investment Corp., a strategic investment fund with $500 million to invest in companies and funds to generate financial returns and achieve economic, social and environmental impact for British Columbia. As Investment Principal, she is responsible for sourcing and qualifying investment opportunities that align with the fund’s impact investing mandate, leading due diligence processes and executing investments.

Prior to InBC, Heather was Impact Investment Manager at Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, where she managed its impact fund of funds. Heather previously worked to provide social finance solutions at Vancity, including co-founding Knives & Forks Community Investment Co-operative, and managed the microfinance program where she provided microloans to new businesses and newcomers to Canada. Prior to Vancity, she provided asset-backed lending solutions to businesses while at GE Capital.

Heather is passionate about providing wraparound support to underserved businesses and individuals including coaching, financial literacy and bridging capital gaps through patient funds, and the development of tools, resources and alternative finance mechanisms. Heather has an MBA in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University and a BComm. from the University of Victoria. She sits on the Board of the Common Approach to Impact Measurement and the Vancouver Entrepreneurs’ Forum and has participated in numerous private sector and community boards and advisory committees.

Jacqueline Jennings

Jacqueline Jennings

The Fireweed Institute

Jacqueline Jennings is an impact investment professional focused on economic liberation and reconciliation. With a background in the private sector at entrepreneurially driven brands such as Microsoft, Lululemon and multiple accelerators, and more recently, as a Venture Partner at Raven Indigenous Capital and now Investor In Residence at Roanhorse Consulting, Jacqueline supports guiding the flow of support and of capital in Canada and the U.S. to Indigenous and Native American startups.
Ryan St Germaine

Ryan St Germaine

Tech Circle

Ryan is an experienced leader, startup founder and ecosystem builder with a track record of founding and leading organizations to achieve significant business objectives while fostering inclusive, high-performing teams. Over the past few years, Ryan has reconnected to his Métis roots while co-creating a 100+ Indigenous Tech Community for founders, ecosystem leaders, community builders and technologists called Tech Circle.


Charlene SanJenko

Charlene SanJenko

reGEN Impact Media

Charlene SanJenko is an Indigenous Storyteller, Impact Producer, and Media Visionary. Born in Splatsin [pronounced SPLAT-seen] Tribe in the Shuswap Nation, Charlene is a two-time founder and a veteran in the social impact space.

Charlene’s 20-year+ commitment to the expansion of human potential can be summarized as: “Our imagination expands our greatness; as we SEE possibility, we BELIEVE more deeply.”

Through her second company, reGEN impact media, Charlene is exploring where the vehicles of media-tech and inclusive innovation intersect to lift society and shift our future’s narrative through the return to the sacred art of storytelling fuelled by the power of media and highest use of technology’s tools.

You can meet Charlene and learn more about reGEN here.

Josh Gray

Josh Gray


Josh Gray is the Co-Founder & CEO of Artemis, the data platform that analyzes for you, and a FounderFuel23 alumni. Josh was recognized by the League of Innovators as a 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur of the Year in 2023. While completing his Bachelor of International Business and & Finance at Carleton University, he scaled and exited his first company, Guelph Box, which still operates today.
Michael Hungerford

Michael Hungerford

Hungerford Properties

Michael is proudly Gwich’in (Northwest Territories and Yukon and Alaska) and is passionate about Indigenous and economic development initiatives focusing on the well being of indigenous people. Hungerford Properties is a second generation family business focused on Real Estate investment, management and development with over $1.6B of assets under management.  He has 20 years of experience overseeing the management and development of over $2 billion in real estate. Under Michael’s leadership, Hungerford Properties has received many local and national awards for development and refurbishment projects which have spanned a wide range of asset classes and geographies. Hungerford has embraced ESG principles throughout its organization and is passionately committed to investing in impact initiatives on indigenous lands.   

Michael has served on the Board of Directors of the BC Cancer Foundation and Vancouver Heritage Foundation. In 2009 Michael was named to Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 Under 40. Michael is currently a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and has the honour of being the Chair of the Vancouver Real Estate Forum for 2019. Michael holds a Bachelor of Political Science from Queen’s University, and a Masters of Business Administration from Stanford University.

Michael lives in Vancouver and raises his hands to the the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Swx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations for caring for these local lands since time immemorial.

Storytelling Supported by 

Workshop Facilitators

Julie Williams

Julie Williams

Grand Challenges Canada, Indigenous Innovation Initiative

Julie is Ojibway from Rama/Mnjikaning First Nation and is a member of the Muskellunge clan. As an enthusiastic lifelong learner she has enjoyed a balance of formal institutional learning and traditional learning on the land and in storytelling. After years of studying and working abroad, she returned to Turtle Island to take up work in service to Indigenous peoples.

Wholistic health and well-being for communities has been a driving factor in Julie’s career. Her work in Indigenous wholistic healthcare and national First Nations educational policy change has led her to focus on the nature of true transformation and Indigenous self-determination.

In recent years Julie has worked with the Centre for First Nations Governance and the Rebuilding First Nations Governance Project in developing supports for First Nations to self-determine through inherent rights self-governance. That community and culturally centred work inspired her to take on and write a historical research project on the traditional governance of her own home territories of the Chippewa Tri-Council, known today as Simcoe County and Muskoka in Ontario.

As the new Director of the Indigenous Innovation Initiative (I3), her work is focused on supporting the continued development of the I3 platform to best support Indigenous Innovators by creating access to capital, building capacity, cultivating networks and driving interest.

Paul Lacerte

Paul Lacerte

Raven Indigenous Capital Partners

Paul Lacerte, OBC is a Founding Managing Partner and the Chief Impact Officer for Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, the first Indigenous owned financial intermediary in Canada. Paul and his daughter Raven also co-founded the Moose Hide Campaign, a national grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys working to end violence against women and children. Paul is a member of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation Band which is part of the Carrier speaking People in northern BC. He is a traditional cultural practitioner and loves to spend time in his home Carrier territory, learning, hunting, and gathering. He is a former foster parent, an adoptive parent, the former Vice-Chair of the Vancouver Foundation, the former Board Chair for Reconciliation Canada, and a former representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. He was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2014. He is also a practicing magician and a sub-average hockey player.

Workshops facilitated by members of the Grand Challenges Canada Indigenous Innovation Community


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Invest Vancouver is ​Metro Vancouver’s economic development leadership service representing 21 municipalities, one treaty First Nation, one electoral area.

The Real Estate Foundation of BC is a philanthropic organization working to advance sustainable, equitable, and socially just land use across BC.

A Crown Agency of British Columbia, Innovate BC works to foster innovation across the province and bolster thegrowth of the local economy through delivering a wide range of programs that help companies start and scale,access talent and encourage technology development, commercialization, and adoption. Innovate BC also harnesses crucial data collection and research, and works to forge strategic industry and community partnerships that createmore opportunities for B.C. innovators.