Animikii is in an important phase in its evolution as a company and this report reflects on the work we have done to advance our social impact objectives in 2022.

We collectively spent time this year building relationships, new ways of working and systems to support our teams as we co-created with our partners. As we took big steps forward technologically, we also looked more closely at the earth and how our footprint shows up in the environment.

As a company we asked ourselves big questions and surfaced exciting new ways of working together, and delivered incredible pathfinding reports, websites, and custom software to our partners. Our emerging sharper focus on creating incredible products others can use — like Niiwin —  also benefited from the years’ focus on centering love as a value at Animikii.

This year's Social Impact Report reflects on each of the Anishinaabe Seven Grandfather Teachings and how those values had an impact on us as Thunderbirds this year. These teachings guide our collective work at Animikii, and we seek to honour and lift up these values through all of our work.



The wolf carries teachings of humility — Dabasendizowin — in the way each individual in the pack works together as a whole. 


This year's story of Animikii’s impact starts here, because humility was a catalyst for new ways of working at our organization in 2022.

Animikii took steps this year to rethink some of the more Western ways of thinking about business and how we could take collective steps to centre Indigenous ways of knowing and being.

Our annual Thunderbird Survey was an important opportunity for Thunderbirds to reflect on their work, stress levels and how we work together as a team. We found many places where Thunderbirds had suggestions to make their working life better at Animikii. This year at Animikii we sought to honour our team's lived experiences, and prioritize healthy ways of working. 

The survey helped us understand stress-points within our company and begin work to ease them.



In Anishinaabe teachings the turtle carries truth — Debwewin — literally on their shell.


As one of the oldest creatures still alive, turtles' collective memories reach back to their presence at creation. Turtles have seen, experienced and remember human injustice. Like our turtle relatives, inside Animikii we moved methodically and with intent to co-create and support several key initiatives. 

Our social impact statement guides us towards actively supporting Truth and Reconciliation in what is now known as Canada. Our tool of choice is technology, and this year our team was honoured to use one of our core tools — Niiwin — as we co-created the Digital Witness Blanket. This digital companion helps everyone access the Witness Blanket and the stories woven into it. We contributed $147,354 to the project in time-based giving.

Our ongoing partnership with the San’yas Cultural Safety training continues to flourish. Over 170,000 people have completed training with a focus on uprooting anti-Indigenous racism and promoting cultural safety for Indigenous people. These efforts provide a foundation that is necessary for reconciliation.

We also continued our sponsorship of Auntie Up! hosted by SirusXM’s Kim Wheeler and Joleen Banning, and Executive Produced by Tanya Talaga. It’s a celebration of Indigenous women speaking their truths. The groundbreaking podcast — now in season two — has been celebrated nationally and features land defenders, experts and Knowledge Keepers.

Animikii and the BC Museums Association also announced a major collaboration towards Truth and Reconciliation education for 2022-2023 to co-develop a new online course offering arts, culture, and museum workers wise practices in supporting reconciliation. There is no one path to creating meaningful, trusting relationships with Indigenous communities, so this online course will include interviews, case studies, and readings from diverse organizations that share educational successes and failures to empower museum and heritage professionals to reflect on their own individual practices, organizations, and community contexts.



Honesty — Gwayakwaadiziwin — is carried by the Sabe. This giant is said to only arrive when you need them.


We wanted to lift up Thunderbirds request for additional transparency on total compensation, career progression, benefits and programs. Animikii created new levels of transparency internally by launching several key equity initiatives. 

Our new Employment Equity Policy places intersectionality at the heart of the work and moves well-beyond gender binaries creating a system to ensure all our team are paid equitably, now and as we scale. The new policy takes into account and promotes equity for communities traditionally marginalized, misrepresented or ignored by big technology: Indigenous Peoples, Women and non-binary people, People of Colour and 2SLGBTQ folks. 

As part of this policy, Animikii’s Pay Equity Committee approach reaches past the federal and colonial law, and into shaping a new understanding of how an organization is informed daily by Indigenous values. 

The new internal Compensation Philosophy is a document created to provide clarity to potential employees and current team members about how we think about compensation and benefits. As part of this we also created internal pay bands to promote transparency. As part of this, job postings will have salary ranges posted and key documents shared with the applicants ahead of time and applicants will also be paid a stipend for their interview time and any technical testing.



The bear carries lessons of courage — Zoongide'ewin — exemplified by a mother bear's willingness to protect her cubs, even when up against a much larger adversary.


At Animikii this year we thought deeply about what recent economic shifts and the turbulent technology market means for our company. We recognized the maximum impact we could have as an organization was going to require a narrowing of our focus. 

This means being intentional and driven to do what we do best: technology innovation. 

This necessitated we wind down our branding and communications work for external partners. We completed our final logos and branding guides midyear, and began to refer incoming requests for work to incredible Indigenous designers.

We want to honour and lift up the incredible work of so many Thunderbirds over 5+ years of offering these design and communications services. Animikii’s branding and digital communications campaigns will continue to live on for many years to come.

This shift in our business-offering allowed us to reduce the overall workload of our team, refocus energies on team relationships and build scalable processes.



Beavers carry wisdom — Nibwaakaawin —  in how they build their complex dams to protect their lodges.


Animikii values professional development: as participants and facilitators. Our team collectively spent many hours learning new skills and we held four Thunderbird retreats to deepen our knowledge and get to know each other better.

Animikii team members continue to help others learn: 

  • Animikii launched #Databack: an eBook for Indigenous-focused organizations and governments who want to transform data governance through advanced tools, principles and practices. Two years in the making this is now a key resource for Indigenous data sovereignty, the inherent right of Indigenous nations to govern the collection, ownership and use of data.
  • The Collision Conference is one of the largest tech events in the world, so Animikii was proud to send CEO Jeff Ward to present as a part of the “Truth and reconciliation: the path ahead” topic on June 21st, Indigenous Peoples Day. Jeff took a moment on the stage to teach everyone how to say, mino-giizhigad!
  • Collectively, our team gave or spoke at 17 workshops, presentations and conferences. 
  • Our scholarship program grew this year, awarding $500 to four students in entrepreneurship and technology. Learn more about the recipients here.

Beavers are wise creatures, picking and choosing carefully which trees they need to topple to build and patch leaks in their dam. At Animikii we also take time to pick wise and diverse partners, and are proud to prioritize diverse suppliers. In 2022, 16% were women owned; 38% were owned by people from marginalized communities and 16% were Indigenous.



Manaaji’idiwin is the gift from the Buffalo — they teach us to only take what you need, and live in reciprocity with the land and everything on it.


Animikii took time this year to think about our relatives in the animal and plant worlds. The climate crisis will only be averted if all companies take an active role in reducing their GHGs and ensuring the air, water and land are respected is central to how they operate. In 2021, we created a Theory of Change with the specific objective of improving our Environment section score for our B Corp certification upcoming in early 2023. This measurable framework allowed us to evaluate all of our existing systems and processes for environmental impact and focus efforts on areas we could improve.

We took time as a team to understand and make commitments to home office stewardship. We asked ourselves, “How might we be good to the environment at home while working ?” Our impact team surfaced ways we can all work together with our building's owner, the Songhees Nation, to leave less environmental impact. Further, we’ve kicked off an important conversation inside our company about how technology impacts the environment and climate.  

In 2023 we will focus efforts on quantifying the total impact in GHGs, and putting in place a plan to mitigate the impact to net zero by 2026.



Love - Zaagi'idiwin - is the gift from the Eagle who gathers hopes and lifts them up.


If our year at Animikii had a theme, it would have been Zaagi'idiwin. Acts of love emerge from deep within people, these are actions to benefit all our relatives. Animikii set an audacious goal of “1,000 acts of love in 2022”.

Thunderbirds demonstrate love every day with each other and our partners, our team of 30 Thunderbirds was producing well over 1000 acts of love in a year! 

So, while it became obvious that collecting data on each and every act of love would be impossible, we could track how the values were integrated into our day-to-day work and this report is the outcome of that work. Here is how some of the team describe Zaagi'idiwin at Animikii.

“Community Love Days and Bonusly recognition are two that come to mind, but I also appreciated that we can talk about love at Animikii. I’ve worked in other places where we pretended emotions didn’t exist: this feels more real.”

“I've had several people reach out to learn about pronouns or correct others on my pronouns and that feels like love to me.”

“Generosity of senior devs sharing knowledge and time. Generosity of management introducing the concept of personal days over the traditional sick days. The guest speakers that share help us with our perspective on the work, and also give us different views on how the healing of our communities can/are advancing.”

Animikii developed new internal policies to embrace our values and rolled out the following changes: 

  • Community Love Days: Thunderbirds now have seven paid days where the entire team winds down operations collectively and spends time with their community, family and friends.
  • Our bereavement rules now allow for time away as needed with our team members defining who is their family vs. strictly colonial legal definitions. This lifts up the role of chosen family in Indigenous and queer cultures.
  • Animikii has taken major steps to implement the National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety, including training for leaders and implementing a Health & Wellness Circle where all Thunderbirds are welcome to join and help guide our workplace health plans and programming.
  • We created  a pilot program called “Pathways to Part-time” to allow for an individualized approach to working less than full time hours.
  • Recognizing our leave policies didn’t acknowledge our animal companions, we added paid pet leave. Thunderbirds can take two days each time they welcome a new pet or say goodbye to a loved animal. 
  • Unpaid leave types were added for: cultural leave, emergency responder leave and additional time allowances for family responsibilities.


2022 Impact Report Acknowledgement 

James Vukelich Kaagegaabaw, a descendant of Turtle Mountain, is an international speaker, author, & the creator of Ojibwe Word of the Day. He has recorded a lecture on 7 Ojibwe Grandfather Teachings and we have used his spellings and been inspired by his knowledge.

Tanya Talaga’s Seven Truths podcast and the wisdom of Elder Sam Acheepineskum brought moments of clarity and joy as we wrote the report.