Chelsea Lee-Anne Cullins (Germain) is originally from Listuguj, and now resides in Millville, New Brunswick.  While working at the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre in Fredericton, Cullins redesigned the centre’s website, and this kickstarted her drive to create her business, Claw Connections. The name “Claw Connections” has a special meaning behind it. The title, CLAW comes from Cullin’s initials, “Chelsea Lee-Ann” and the last two letters come from Cullin’s children’s initials. The logo was designed by local Listuguj artist, Griffin Germain.

Claw Connections helps develop Indigenous resources online through creating and collaborating with Indigenous businesses, website development, and helping businesses establish and maintain an online presence. The business really developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cullins said, “Connecting with people, and chatting with people, I found there weren’t any Indigenous resources that were available online – especially during that time period when everyone began navigating online.” Cullins is creating a tool where people can search for Indigenous resources easier, when using social media may not be an option. She also mentioned having these resources accessible to elders is very important.

She said the first real collaboration with Claw Connections was the project “Traveling the Wabanaki Way.” From here she has taken on many other significant projects, such as the New Brunswick First Nation Child Welfare Jurisdiction, Listuguj’s MMA club The Vault, and more. Most recently were two events and workshops with the Mi’kmaq Wolastoqiyik Association of Social Workers.

Cullins said she is excited to be an entrepreneur as an Indigenous woman. She loves helping businesses connect with their clients. She appreciates and learns a lot from the businesses she collaborates with. “I get to be a part of a glimpse into these businesses, and I can take away the teachings they’re sharing,” said Cullins.

The process of collaborating with Claw Connections is very easy and productive. Clients will reach out to Cullins and provide information about their business or anything else they’re looking to promote. Cullins will connect and go over the client’s needs and wants to pertain to their business and come up with a plan on helping client’s grow their business online and reach larger audiences.

On top of being a business owner, Cullins has recently started a new position at the Department of Aboriginal Affairs as the Indigenous Navigator. She has also been accepted to VanArts (Vancouver Institute of Media Arts) this fall for Website Development and 3D design. She is very excited to further her expertise in the field.

“The whole purpose of Claw Connections was just to highlight Indigenous businesses,” said Cullins. If you are interested in giving your business an online boost or inquiring about the many services available at Claw Connections, visit clawconnections.com. and contact Chelsea Lee-Ann Cullins.

By Ann Marie Jacques

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