In February 2022, Empowered Nations’ Indigenous Knowledge Keeper Tanina Rose Williams and her business were nominated for the 2022 Small Business BC Impact Award. Her consultancy amawílc, brings Indigenous ways of knowing and being to the classroom and to the boardroom.

We are pleased to announce that Williams was named a top-five finalist for Small Business BC’s (SBBC) Business Impact Award earlier this month, with winners slated to be announced at a gala on April 28.

Amawilc—means “to come back to life” in the Lil’wat Nation’s traditional language, aims to bring “Indigenous ways of knowing and being” to classrooms, companies, and non-profits. Through workshops built around sharing circles, hand-crafts, and storytelling, we bring opportunity to create awareness, understanding, respect and together-ness between indigenous and non-indigenous cultures.

Amawilc was selected out of 636 nominations submitted for this year’s awards, for 442 businesses in 88 communities, according to SBBC. More than 38,000 public votes narrowed down the massive field to 20 businesses, while a panel of experts determined the five finalists. Those five businesses were each required to deliver a virtual pitch to judges this week, who are now tasked with selecting an overall winner who “embrace[s] the challenge of entrepreneurship, display their business savvy, and take positive action to invest in their community,” according to a SBBC release.

When asked about her work ethic, Tanina told Pique Magazine:

“When I work at a job, I have to give 200 per cent, because I am an Indigenous female,” she explained. “If I don’t, I am looked down upon, like I’m not doing enough, and so it’s uncomfortable for me to not fill every second of my time.”

Williams launched Amawilc after participating in an Indigenous entrepreneurship course with Empowered Nations/Empowered Startups at Mount Currie’s Ts’zil Learning Centre. While she’s felt the pull of entrepreneurship before, Williams’ previous business ideas “didn’t come to fruition because they just weren’t feasible,” she explained.

“This platform came along, and it was really something I could understand in the simplest terms. They were still teaching you how to be a business person, they just changed the language so that it was understandable.”

Our team is incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work with Tanina, and can’t wait to watch her business grow.

To book a workshop with Amawilc, please visit: 

To book a workshop with Empowered Nations,  please visit:

Empowered Startups is an Innovative Startup Incubator and foundry headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With offices in Canada, France, and Portugal, we train/mentor/ and network entrepreneurs to successfully launch new businesses in diverse markets. As a foundry we also conceive, build and launch our own products and solutions. Empowered Startups is recognized by the Canadian Government as a designated start-up business incubator and is known internationally for growing ideas into sustainable businesses using both a virtual and on-site model. Our training tools and mentorship are used and recognized by leading global university labs, Startup incubators, and innovation hubs.

Photo by Pique Magazine