Nicole Hall is a knowledge seeker who believes the journey towards understanding is an essential part of the learning process. Her deep curiosity has led her down many paths – in her studies, her work and even her own history. Nicole has worked extensively with youth and has a background in writing and Indigenous studies. She is currently enrolled in a policy course in which she will be drafting a policy paper addressing Indigenous representation in education.
Nicole comes from a family of entrepreneurs and learned from her parents that she could make her dreams happen. “My mom has always been self-employed, and my older sister is starting her own business too. We have very different businesses but as a family we always talk about business ideas.”
The inspiration for Nicole’s business comes from her experiences, and frustrations, in school. “I am Salteaux Métis but I moved here from Australia when I was 10 and my family isn’t very culturally involved. I was hoping that in school I would learn about what being Métis meant, but I didn’t. It made me feel like we didn’t really matter. So, I took on my own learning journey. There’s no guidebook on how to be a good Métis person. You have to make the journey yourself. You have to go out of your way to find elders and knowledge keepers. It’s a big intimidating thing to step into that identity.”
Nicole discovered she comes from a powerful line of women as well as entrepreneurs. “My great auntie, Mae Louise Campbell, founded Clan Mothers which is quite a big organization. She’s a really awesome woman and she makes a lot of great differences in community.”
Nicole is inspired to do the same. Her business, Indigeneyes, creates digital products, specifically printable scavenger hunts, that teachers, parents, guardians or friends can use to share information with youth about Indigenous peoples and Indigenous cultures.
Indigeneyes is a mirror of Nicole’s own personal experience; it’s about getting kids to use their own eyes, hands, hearts and minds to take on a learning journey about their own heritage or Indigenous Peoples more broadly. She’s hoping that through her work, she can take much of the difficulty and uncertainty out of that learning journey, creating space for fun and adventurous quests for knowledge!
“I always want to be creating ideas and businesses. They are all based on empowering people and representation. I see myself trying to make change in community – that might be in this education system or through other means.” -Nicole