Cindy Crowe is a band member of the Lake Helen First Nation, Robinson-Superior Treaty Area, located an hour East of Thunder Bay. In 2004, she launched her award-winning Indigenous consulting firm, Cindy Crowe Consulting, specializing in community liaison, engagement and development. In 2005, she founded the charity Blue Sky Community Healing Centre, which utilizes the principles of Indigenous worldviews, and encourages understanding and respect for all individuals through an open dialogue in an interactive learning environment. The multi-layered and comprehensive training sessions assist the participants to experience a safe environment to discuss these topics with ease and allow a sense of curiosity from the participants.
My first job ever was… working as playground supervisor in Val Caron, Ontario for two summers in a row. I can see now that my leadership skills and my great desire to include everyone in activities was already strong in my early teens.
I chose my career path because… my heart desired to mentor people and illustrate the value of entrepreneurship. I have a gift that promotes individuals to be the truest versions of themselves. The vision of keeping the circle strong drives me to serve community.
When starting out, I wish I knew… that listening to myself would have been the best thing that I could have done for myself and the people that I serve.
The part of my role that I love the most is… being me, leading by example, loving people openly, welcoming everyone into the circle, illustrating that if I can be successful – so can you!
The biggest challenge of running a not-for-profit is… keeping the faith that the financial matters will all work out.
If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know… that my greatest messages that provide my divine guidance come from Mother Earth, especially the birds and animals.
My best advice from a mentor was… always bring gifts with you when attending a new community or business i.e., bannock, amethyst, beaded jewelry, or other handmade items. It’s a show of respect for the people you are meeting for the first time.
My advice for anyone who wants to build a not-for-profit is… to follow their inner guidance and truly listen to themselves. That compass will always take them in the right direction.
One thing for-profit businesses could learn from the not-for-profit world is… there is great value in doing the work to benefit individuals rather than earning a profit.
I stay inspired by… ensuring that I am taking care of myself. I know that through self-care, my ancestors and descendants also benefit.
Success to me means… doing what I love and loving what I do. This isn’t a job. It’s a passion. Watching the impacts of our work on the youth and other individuals continues to drive me and recharges my batteries.