A word from our founder
Your purchase helps amplify Indigenous voices and brands and helps Indigenous entrepreneurs and authors take a stronger position in the economy and to grow healthier communities.
My mixed-heritage and Indigenous (Michif) roots have instilled a passion in me for finding interesting ways to engage, inspire and motivate those around me. Raven Reads was born from a desire to educate others about the devastating impact residential schools had on Indigenous people in Canada.
Residential schools were in place in Canada for more than a century, with the last one closing in 1996. Over 150,000 children attended these schools and many never returned. Often underfunded and overcrowded, these schools were used as a tool of assimilation. Thousands of students suffered physical and sexual abuse - all suffered from loneliness and a longing to be home with their families. Entire cultures, languages and ways of life were wiped out and the impact inflicted by these schools continues to be felt to this day.
The Truth & Reconciliation Committee’s final report (released in 2015) laid the foundation for a way to find common ground for moving forward for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
As many of us do, I frequently ask myself what does reconciliation mean and what role can I play in this? I know that reconciliation means different things to different people. To many, it’s about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in this country. For that to happen, there must be awareness of our collective past along with action that will change behaviour.
We are not there yet. The relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is not a mutually respectful one.
But I believe we can get there.
A call for action
In 2015, shortly after the TRC released its final report, Raven Reads founder Nicole McLaren started a book club. The book club was a gathering place to not only share incredible books but to open a dialogue as well. To bring this experience to a wider audience, Raven Reads was born.
It has been designed as a safe space for you to learn about other cultures, about history and to discover beautifully crafted products made by Indigenous entrepreneurs from around the globe.
Indigenous and women owned
We are 100% Indigenous and female owned. We are a team composed of tenacious Indigenous and non-Indigenous female leaders who strive to see Raven Reads reach it maximum potential and offer our customers authentic and quality products that we can be proud of.
CEO / Founder
Nicole McLaren is a mother, wife and an entrepreneur at heart. Nicole’s steady search for opportunities combined with her enterprising, Indigenous roots led her to launch Raven Reads in 2017. Nicole is also the Founder and Chair of the Indigenous Women’s Business Network, an expanding non-profit network that provides support for other Indigenous women looking to start or grow their own business.
Sr Ops. Coordinator
Victoria grew up in Merritt, BC and currently still resides on the West Coast of Canada. In her spare time, she enjoys playing in her garden and listening to live music. Victoria is the Senior Operations Coordinator for Raven Reads and brings knowledge in corporate administrative systems and people management. Her career background includes experience in human resources, administration, and various levels of customer service. Victoria is from the Nłeʔkepmxc nation and is a member of the Lower Nicola Indian Band.