Clearing a New Path™ and Clearing a New Path Podcast™ are products of Radar Media, located in Dorchester, Ontario on the traditional territory of the Anishnabek, Haudenosaunee, Lenape and the Attawondaron or Neutral peoples who once used this land as their traditional beaver hunting grounds.
As a settler here I’m committed to deepening understanding of Indigenous communities and reframing responsibilities to land and community.
I am grateful to Mother Earth for the opportunity for love and connection and to the spirits of the Elders and the Medicine People who still walk the Earth.
MARCH 8, 2023
I come to this work as a white woman of privilege; a vulnerable allyship student.
I get things wrong often and I am open to, and welcome opportunities to be called in about the content in this newsletter, in order to create safe, brave spaces for all.
The purpose of this newsletter, and the podcast is to unite people in rural Canada.
I am grateful to walk along this journey in grace, love and empathy as we hold space for one another.
Solutions-based journalism is reporting about people and organizations responding to social problems.
Your support, no matter the size, is greatly appreciated.
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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Hello Amazing Humans,
The International Women’s Day 2023 theme is #EmbraceEquity
Every year, companies express support for women, some holding events, special promotions, but really, where is the action all year round?
Are women being paid more?
Are women being promoted more?
Are women being valued more?
Women have been excelling since time immemorial. But the business world is still run by white men, in every industry. And many white women in power uphold patriarchy, capitalism and colonialism, by playing the game in a white man’s world.
In rural Canada, women are making significant changes in government, but they are faced with online abuse for their efforts.
Change only comes if we can stand shoulder to shoulder with one another.
My amazing friend and Rural Futurist, Ashleigh Weeden wrote a brilliant article about where we stand and the path forward.
Rural Canadian women entrepreneurs are also leading the way in innovation and system change. But that isn’t new.
Maybe you’ve heard of Miss Vickie’s potato chips? The REAL Miss Vickie perfected her recipe on her potato farm in New Lowell, Ontario. The chips were launched at the 14th annual Alliston Potato Festival in 1987, quickly got popular and over the next few years the chips were produced and marketed from Pointe-Claire, Quebec, eventually holding 1% of the national market. In 1993, Miss Vickie's was purchased by Hostess Frito-Lay. (Photo: Vickie Kerr, The Real Miss Vickie Facebook page)
How about the Jolly Jumper? Did you know that Olivia Poole was the first Indigenous woman in Canada to secure a patent for that product? At the time of her initial invention (1910), she was living in rural Manitoba. Decades later, her children convinced her to apply for the patent.
1 in 6 Canadian women-owned businesses operates outside of an urban centre. I’d love to tell you how many of these women belong to minority groups but Stats Canada doesn’t count them (yet).
Here’s how rural and urban stack up.
CANADIAN WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES
*Rural Canadian Women-Owned Businesses = 29,633
Urban Canadian Women-Owned Businesses = 153,614
PARO CENTRE FOR WOMEN’S ENTERPRISE
The PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise is an organization that supports women entrepreneurs across Ontario. The organization’s approach to supporting women is unique in that it meets women where they are. Whether it’s your geographic area, or where you are on your business journey, PARO’s programs and services are designed to support women wherever they are
This episode focuses on some of the unique programs PARO offers, like Lending Circles but it’s also about one of the organization’s business counsellors, Gitanjali Aggarwal, and her own personal entrepreneurial journey in rural Ontario.
Gitanjali’s name [pronounced - git-tan-ja-lee] means collection of lyrics in Sanskrit. The self proclaimed Dream Chaser has collected various experiences from the financial industry, to restaurant prenuer, to mother of 2, and now business counselor, she continues her journey as she collects experiences, and shares a few words along the way.
AMPLIFYING RURAL-BASED WOMEN
Shivani Dhamija moved to rural Nova Scotia to be with her partner. Armed with a degree in Public Relations from Fanshawe College, she was shocked when she couldn’t find a job. She was very determined though and took jobs where she could.
One of those jobs was at the Canada Games Centre and when a friend of Indian descent visited, and told Shivani a trucker friend was looking for home cooked Indian food for his trips, it sparked her idea to provide an Indian meal delivery service.
At first she called it Home Made Tiffin but couldn’t register the name. Then she realized there likely wouldn’t be anyone with HER name selling Indian food so Shivani’s Kitchen was born!
She offered cooking classes, sold products at Farmers’ Markets, created Indian Spice Blend products, opened a restaurant and now is focusing on a food production plant with Shivani’s Ready to Use Sauces! Her products are in many stores throughout Atlantic Canada and the United States.
Shivani talks about her inspirational family and also her struggles to make friends as a new immigrant in Canada and what we can all do to include new Canadians.
Shivani hails from Windsor, Nova Scotia.
Follow Shivani's Kitchen!
Twitter - @shivaniskitchen
Facebook - @Shivani’s Kitchen
Instagram - @shivaniskitchen
Next week: On Family Day, I had a fabulous conversation with four new female municipal councillors serving in Ontario, and they reflected on a number of topics in their first 100 days in office: the barriers they faced winning the seat but also the privilege it takes to even run a campaign in our current system. Lyndsay Wilson is serving Ingersoll, Ontario, Kate Leatherbarrow serves in Woodstock, Ontario, Kelsie Van Belleghem in Kenora, Ontario and Alysson Storey serves Chatham-Kent, Ontario.
Coming soon: Isaac Murdoch
Some of my friends call him a legend and after sharing some time with this gifted Indigenous storyteller I would have to agree. Through his storytelling, Isaac shares what he is thinking deeply about during these turbulent times.
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This newsletter and the Clearing a New Path™ podcast are supported by Xplore Business, formerly Xplornet Enterprise Solutions.