About Us — Animikii Indigenous Technology

About Us

Animikii

Celebrating 14 years in business, Animikii Inc. is a web-services company building custom software, web-applications and websites. We work with leading Indigenous groups across North America to leverage technology for social, economic and cultural initiatives. As a 100% Indigenous-owned technology company we work with our clients to implement solutions that amplify these efforts and achieve better outcomes for Indigenous people in these areas. We are based in British Columbia on Coast Salish territory and we work everywhere.

Our Team

Animikii’s employees are grateful to conduct our work as visitors on the traditional, unceded territory of the Lekwungen (Songhees) Peoples of the Coast Salish Nation, the traditional, unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples of the Coast Salish Nation and the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council. Animikii is a remote-first company committed to supporting Indigenous technologists who work on meaningful projects in ways that fit their lives and support their personal and professional goals. Each of the Thunderbirds (Animikii employees) has completed accredited Indigenous Cultural Safety training and Animikii approaches technological solutions through this lens. If you like what you see on this site and think you might be a good fit, please get in touch.

Jonathon Forbes

Jonathon Forbes

Project Management

A proud member of the Tsimshian people, Jonathon has over a decade of experience in client services, web design, stakeholder communications, and graphic design. As the Digital Services Project Manager, Jonathon leverages his past experience with Indigenous communities to provide the best possible services and coordination with the Animikii team. He lives and works in Vancouver, BC.

Mat Harvard

Mat Harvard

Back-end Developer

Mat has been designing and developing user experiences through software development since 2006. His focus is building and maintaining web-based products that are easy to use and are backed by well-designed systems that can scale. Mat lives in Victoria, BC and can often be found on remote hiking trails of Vancouver Island. He has a beard. Which keeps him warm on the trails.

Dakota Lightning

Dakota Lightning

Front-end Designer & Developer

Dakota brings our projects to life by making them look great, work across all platforms and are a delight for users to interact with. As our resident front-end expert, he is responsible for delivering engaging experiences through the latest web technologies. Dakota is a member of the Samson Cree Nation and lives and works on Vancouver Island.

Monica Olinescu

Monica Olinescu

Full-Stack Developer

Monica is a full-stack developer who has been building web applications for a decade. She is continuously learning how to build cleaner, more maintainable codebases. When she is not coding you can find her climbing the wonderful granite cliffs north of Vancouver.

Jen Polack

Jen Polack

Digital Communications Strategist

Jen Polack manages content, social media, and multimedia projects for both Animikii and their digital communications clients. Jen began her journey with Animikii as a freelance copywriter while she was pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in English and Professional Communications. Jen is a passionate advocate for women - particularly Indigenous women - working in the technology industry and works to promote and celebrate the female voice in a predominantly male industry. When experiencing writer's block, Jen likes to spend the day baking bread, gaming, and exploring Vancouver Island. Jen lives and works on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen (Songhees) Peoples of the Coast Salish Nation.

Mark Rutledge

Mark Rutledge

Lead Designer

Mark Rutledge, CGD™ is Animikii’s lead designer. As a passionate graphic designer who embraces his creative instincts and intuition, he has a burning desire to cultivate flawless outcomes in branding, photography, and web design. Mark is Anishinaabe and a member of the Little Grand Rapids First Nation. He lives and works on Kwanlin Dün and Ta'an Kwäch'än Council Territories in Whitehorse, Yukon. Mark also serves as National President of the Certified Graphic Designers of Canada.

Robyn Ward

Robyn Ward

Robyn supports the Animikii team in a variety of ways from website content strategy and information design to administrative support, bookkeeping, strategy, and people operations. Her keen eye for detail and thoughtful approach allows her to anticipate our team’s needs throughout all of our project lifecycles as well as internal operations. Robyn is an artist, children’s book author and a volunteer counsellor for the Esquimalt Neighbourhood House. Robyn lives and works on Lekwungen territory in Victoria, BC.

Jeff Ward

Jeff Ward

Jeff is a web designer, software developer, author, and speaker. He is Ojibwe and Métis, originally from Manitoba, and now lives and works in Victoria, BC on Lekwungen territory. Jeff founded Animikii in 2003 and has orchestrated and managed its growth ever since. Everything Jeff does in business is geared towards uplifting his family, communities and Indigenous Peoples. Jeff also serves as board member for Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).

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Who We Are

We feel that a company's brand should reflect who they are, where they are and the people they serve. Our name, logo and imagery portray the "who" and "where". Please continue reading to learn more about why we call ourselves Animikii and why we use the imagery that we do.

Our Name

Animikii (ah-nih-mih-key) means Thunderbird and is a very powerful and respected being in Ojibwe culture. Thunder is caused by the beating of the Thunderbird's immense wings. While the word Animikii is Ojibwe, the Thunderbird also has significance in other cultures including Northwest Coast Salish where we are based.

The Animikii name, logo and imagery we use on this site tell a story about who we are and our company's roots. Jeff was born in Manitoba and is of Ojibwe background. Animikii has a very personal and special meaning to Jeff as he was given this name in a ceremony as a child. His spiritual name is Animikii Gwewinzenhs which means "Thunderbird Boy".

Ah–Nih–Mih–Key is how you say it. 99% of the people who pronounce it, say it perfectly. Go ahead and give it a try for yourself :)

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Our Logo

While the Animikii name is Ojibwe, the logo we choose to represent our company is Coast Salish because that is the traditional territory where we are headquartered. Our logo is inspired by NorthWest Coast Art and is also contemporary. Our friend Andrew Dexel work with Jeff to create the logo.

Andrew (Enpaauk) Dexel is from the Nlakapamux Nation and is known for his prints and original paintings. His aim is to create unique transcultural works and to compose modern day interpretations of traditional forms, stories and teachings to inspire future generations. Learn more about Andrew on his website. We would like to thank Andrew for all his hard work in creating a beautiful image to represent our company.

Photo Description

The photo we use on our home page is a profoundly uplifting and beautiful photo taken of Jeff's father (Dewayne Ward) and brother (Scott Ward) by Troy Moth. The image is of Dewayne in his traditional plains regalia smudging while Scott is behind a wolf mask (by Carey Newman) looking up. This image portrays "who" and "where" we are in the same way that our name and logo does.

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