In a world full of Ted Talks, where audiences come out in droves to listen to smart people talk about big ideas, Shannon Loutit saw an opportunity. The Saskatoon woman is the CEO and co-founder of International Indigenous Speakers Bureau.
The firm, based in Saskatchewan, aims to make it easier for those audiences to connect with experts who possess a unique Indigenous perspective.
"We know there's such a huge demand for speakers," Loutit said. She wanted to help Indigenous experts enter that market, and also help clients find those experts.
Loutit gave an example of one woman on her list who's an "Indigeneer" — an expert in engineering who also combines those principles with the Indigenous respect for Mother Earth.
Loutit said a lot of clients are also looking for guidance with how to hire an Indigenous speaker.
"Whether it's an awkward conversation about protocol, or where to access somebody, or anything like that."
Loutit said the bureau is already gaining attention. Television programs have also contacted her hoping to have some of the speakers on as guests.