Benjamin Scott, Founding Project Director / Co-Lead
Benjamin Scott is a member of the Tłı̨chǫ Nation and a true Northerner at heart. He has a passion for supporting organizations to redefine business practice through an Indigenous worldview, and sharing business knowledge and tools to help build entrepreneurial leadership and capacity within communities. He is the creator of The Multi-Directional Business Compass which offers an Indigenous-centred perspective for thinking about business, community, and economic impact in a more circular and holistic way. The Compass framework now serves as the foundation of EntrepreNorth’s programming to empower Indigenous entrepreneurs to build sustainable business and livelihoods across Northern Canada. Benjamin offers strategic business services through Feed the Fire Business Consulting to support Indigenous focused organizations on pathways to economic self-determination, resurgence and resilience. He holds a MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership from SFU, a BA in Urban Studies from UofC, a Leadership Certificate from UofA, and is an Action Canada Fellow Alumni.
Xina Cowan | Co-Director
Xina lives and works in Whitehorse on on the traditional territories of the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council and the Kwanlin Dün First Nation. Her ancestry is Irish, Scottish, and Mohawk and she is honoured to be learning her family's shared histories. She is the granddaughter of Barbara Monture Malloch and the great-granddaughter of Gilbert 'Slim' Monture from Six Nations. After studying Human Relations at Concordia University in Montreal, Xina moved to the Eeyou Itschee Cree community of Wemindji in 2013 and began her career in Indigenous programming. Since then, Xina’s work has taken her all across the North. As EntrepreNorth’s Co-Director she is primarily responsible for leading Marketing and Communications, Community Outreach and Partnership Development. Xina is also a certified Coach and is the Host and Producer of EntrepreNorth's podcast series Venture Out.
Prior to joining EntrepreNorth, Xina was the Development Manager for Indigenous projects at Youth Fusion and was the Editor of WIOT Magazine at Rezolution Pictures. Her (not so) side passion is promoting Indigenous fashion designers and artists from the Circumpolar Arctic.
Tanya Roach | Marketing Specialist
Tanya Roach is a writer, throat singer and public speaker living in Yellowknife, NT. She is of Inuit and Celtic ancestry and spent her childhood in the Nunavut and Northwest Territories child welfare system.
As an adult, she became involved in writing through the NorthWords NWT Writer's Festival Society. Writing is a tool for self-empowerment, reflection and cross-cultural communication and education. At the heart of her writing, she explores intersecting identities with a holistic and strength-based mindset.
She has spent time living in Edmonton, AB, attending the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. After college she spent time working in the medical travel and hospitality field then gravitated towards books through working at book stores and libraries.
Cultural revitalization is a strong interest for her and is involved activities such as Inuit throat singing, qulliq lighting and providing culturally relevant content for literary agencies and television.
Patti Derbyshire | Curriculum Lead
Patti is a non-Indigenous team member at EntrepreNorth, working from the unceded
traditional territories of the Coast Salish Peoples of the qiqéyt (Qaygayt) and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm
(Kwikwetlem) First Nations, and alongside the North Fraser Métis community.
Patti joins EntrepreNorth with 25 years of experience working with and for Indigenous communities,
organizations, and programs. She works from a place of unsettling colonial memory while
following the guidance and local ethics of Indigenous communities where she is called to do so.
She completed a Master of Education (M.Ed) with Indigenous scholars at the University of
British Columbia where she studied human ecology and the impact of the land kinship on the
restoration of family integrity. She earned a Master of Arts (MA) in Peace & Conflict Studies
from Royal Roads University where she worked with educators and Muslim, Sinhalese, and
Tamil youth on adolescent peace circles during the war in Sri Lanka.
Dave De Lugt | Program Manager
Dave lives in Yellowknife, which resides on Chief Drygeese Territory, the traditional home of the Yellowknives Dene and the North Slave Metis.
After attending Lakehead University for a degree in Geography, Dave was offered a job in Yellowknife delivering pre-employment and on the job training for northern residents. He has now spent the last decade traveling across the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon; connecting with northerners, Indigenous governments, federal and territorial government agencies and private organizations. His passion for teaching has been solidified by over fifteen years of professional education, teaching in a wide variety of environments from world class whitewater rivers, to boardrooms, to canvas tents in the high arctic. When he’s not at work, he’s spending time out on the land hiking, running, paddling or adventuring with his loved ones and his dog.
He’s honoured to be a part of the team at Entreprenorth, and to be working with Indigenous entrepreneurs to help build sustainable and meaningful business across the north.
Arden D'hont | Finance Specialist
Arden D’hont is the Finance & Data Specialist with EntrepreNorth. Arden is a member of the North Slave Metis Alliance and was born and raised in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. She graduated with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration - Business Management from Langara College. Arden has worked in both the public and private sector and brings years of experience in business operations, finance, investment banking, and Indigenous engagement and relations.
She is honoured to be working with EntrepreNorth helping to serve Indigenous people across Canada’s North to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas, hopes and dreams. Arden is located in Vancouver, British Columbia on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy1əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx6wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwəta ɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.
Brad Poulter | Entrepreneur in Residence
Brad Poulter is a born and raised northerner and the founder of Barctic Technology: a Yellowknife-based technology and marketing firm. Its software has helped thousands of mainly Canadian companies sell products around the world. Barctic has also worked with dozens of northern companies and organizations to help them build technological capacity and systems to help them compete globally.
After fishing his honours Degree in Business from the University of British Columbia, Brad returned to the North to do communications work for the Office of the Premier. After a brief stint as a scuba dive master, Brad served 10 years managing business service programs and communications at the Business Development and Investment Corporation. He also taught marketing at Aurora College.
Brad is an avid adventure seeker, investor, educator and technology enthusiast with a passion to better the north through entrepreneurship, innovation and home-grown out of the box ideas. He offers 1-1 support to our program participants in the areas of e-commerce, web design, and digital marketing.
Roman Asmundson | Financial Analyst
Roman is a finance professional who was raised and is based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
Holding a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary, Roman is also actively pursuing his CPA designation.
Roman has previously worked across the payments industry, including working on credit card and payments reconciliation. Roman also has prior work experience with several non-profits. Roman lives in Yellowknife, and his free time enjoys camping, biking, and getting outside. His other favourite activities include drinking coffee and eating caramels.
Paul Andrew | Elder in Residence
Paul Andrew was born in the Mackenzie Mountain and currently resides in Yellowknife. At the age of eight, Paul was taken to residential school. He returned to his community and served at Tulita Chief at the age of 22 and later Dene Nation Vice President. Paul is a student of Dene history including environment, Dene understanding of Cosmology, pharmacology, ecology and Aboriginal Spirituality.
After many years as Chief, Paul began his 30-year career with CBC. His focus has been and still is on teaching about Dene language and culture, building relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, healing and reconciliation, and regaining pride for the Elders and hope for the youth of the Northwest Territories.
Paul has received many awards including the CBC Team Building Award, NWT Literacy Award, and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award. He has served on many boards such as the Dene Language Committee, the NWT Forum on Community Wellness and Addictions, Aurora College Board of Governors and is an Elder Advisor to various groups and organizations.