Indigenous entrepreneur's work wear line conies with social message: Warrior Work Wear aims to inspire Indigenous people to get engaged in the workforce.

Author:Romaniuk, Colleen
 
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Jason Thompson is tired of the stigma that surrounds the Indigenous worker.

The owner of Superior Strategies and Aanigitoon Development Services, and co-owner of Superior Supply and Services in Thunder Bay is on a mission to change the conversation.

A proud member of Red Rock Indian Band, Thompson used the 2020 PEP Conference and Trade Show in Sudbury as a platform to announce the coming launch of Warrior Work Wear.

More importantly, he wants to advocate for the participation of Indigenous people in the work force.

He believes that through active inclusion and positive reinforcement, we can begin to make meaningful change.

After working in the forestry sector for years, Thompson and his wife witnessed people in the North falling on hard times.

Their family and friends were struggling to find and keep employment, and many were mi- i grating out of the North to pursue other opportunities.

To prepare themselves for the changes they saw coming in the future, they decided to go back to school. While Thompson's wife was studying, he decided to start a business to help support them.

Superior Strategies is a management consulting and training services company, which was founded on Thompson's passion for occupational health and safety.

The Indigenous-owned company strives to serve a variety of sectors operating in Northern Ontario. Their clients include corporations, government, not-for profit organizations, and Aboriginal organizations.

The company started out by providing simple training services, including first aid and working at heights training, and WHMIS certification.

In working with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous clients, the company has grown into a full-service training and consulting firm, offering on-site safety support, cultural sensitivity training, mental health first aid, and economic development services.

Two years ago, a supply and service arm was launched.

Superior Supply started by providing health and safety supplies and personal protective equipment, which tied in well with Thompson's other business. It's now grown to include welding and industrial shop supply needs, and janitorial/sanitation products.

"It's been challenging, as a new supply business, to find suppliers and stay competitive in the market," said Thompson.

"But you also get to work with great people, like the folks at Apollo Management, who help break down some of those barriers and help support your vision."

This past summer, Thompson and his team worked...

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