Empowering Communities: Blake’s Journey with Holistic Haven and Ulnooweg Indigenous Communities Foundation 

In the bustling landscape of entrepreneurship, a remarkable 29-year-old Inuk woman named Blake Sheppard-Pardy is carving her path with a unique venture called Holistic Haven Inc 

Serving all of Labrador, this new business venture offers private counseling and consulting services to clients of all ages, specializing in exceptionalities, trauma, and mental health disorders. 

As the founder of this promising business, Blake is not only dedicated to achieving personal success but is also deeply committed to making a positive impact on the communities around her.  

What sets Blake apart is not just her entrepreneurial spirit but her active involvement in various events with the Ulnooweg Indigenous Communities Foundation (UICF), showcasing a commitment to social responsibility and community development. 

Blake’s dedication to our Foundation’s EleV initiatives has been unwavering over the years. Recently, she participated in our Water Warriors Retreat Program, a collaboration between SucSeed and UICF.  

This transformative program brought together ten Indigenous youth for a three-day retreat in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador.  

Here, participants honed vital skills for crafting the latest addition to the Sustainable Superheroes series, centered on Global Goal #6: Clean Water & Sanitation. Notably, these youth will receive well-deserved recognition as published authors upon the book’s release. 

Youth-Led Programming 

Furthermore, our partnership with Blake extends to the impactful Youth Suicide Prevention Program launched last year with the help of our EleV Initiative.  

Spanning ten weeks, Blake developed this program to cater to the needs of Central Labrador’s youth community. Through comprehensive suicide prevention training and two rejuvenating one-day Yoga retreats, the program empowered participants with essential coping mechanisms for anxiety management. 

Blake Sheppard-Pardy mentioned that she also co-facilitated a 5-week Mindfulness Program launched last year with Andrew Safer. This initiative catered to youth residing in Labrador as well and consisted of 10 sessions (two 1-hour sessions per week.) 

Additionally, Blake led the Neurodiverse Youth Camp that we financially supported through our EleV initiative. Fantastic Friendships Summer Camp brought university students and young professionals together to create and implement the first-ever summer camp for Indigenous neurodiverse youth in Labrador.  

(Blake alongside summer student Shawntelle at Fantastic Friendships Summer Camp.)

As for the summer camp, we had an outpour of positive response from both parents and youth, the kids felt heard, seen, and safe to be themselves, without the fear of judgment or being asked to leave” said Sheppard-Pardy. 

“For the most part, the youth we saw, were the kids left out, left behind, or unable to have these social connections due to places, and events, being unable to support those with neurodiversity.” 

When asked about notable events during the camp, Blake shared a touching story. A youth, who had experienced tremendous loss and was originally under Blake’s counseling, expressed gratitude by saying, “Thank you for this week, this was the best summer camp ever, and not only did we have fun, but we learned about mindfulness, and how to feel better about our big feelings.”  

“We wanted to give families the opportunity to send their kids to the event at no cost to them, as having youth with exceptionalities or trauma already has so many associated costs” said Sheppard-Pardy.

“We wanted this event to eliminate any possible barriers, by offering it completely free. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of Ulnooweg.”

Ulnooweg Impact 

“So, after the [neurodiverse] summer camp this summer and a lot of communication with my fiancé, he was like, you should go out and do it on your own” said Sheppard-Pardy.  

“I sit on the board for Libra House and the board for Mokami Status of Women, so I have quite a bit of connections within the community.” 

Blake opened Holistic Haven Inc. on December 1st, 2023, and is proud that they are the very first business of its kind on the Inuit Business Registry

“When we opened, it was just me and my then admin (now program manager), Shawntelle. 

Shawntelle was employed as Blake’s summer student for the Fantastic Friendships Summer Camp. She also attended the SucSeed x Ulnooweg Water Warriors Retreat alongside Blake. 

(Blake and Shawntelle wearing their new sweater’s from the Water Warriors Retreat.)

Currently, Blake and Shawntelle are the only ones on their team who are Indigenous; however, it is 100% Female Indigenous-owned and there are Indigenous practices and policies that her counselors need to follow.  

“If it weren’t for Ulnooweg funding this summer camp, I wouldn’t have connected with Shawntelle and we wouldn’t have that relationship piece needed to do this” said Sheppard-Pardy.   

There are now 10 staff employed at Holistic Haven Inc.

“I’m so grateful for my team” said Sheppard-Pardy. “They give me the ability to expand and be able to provide all these extra services that I [originally] wouldn’t have been able to provide to so many other Indigenous youth.” 

Through her collaboration with UICF, Blake has forged connections with the Ulnooweg Development Group Inc. (UDG) to initiate discussions on infrastructure funding, aiming to secure a more spacious building for her business. 

Monika Rumbolt, UICF’s Labrador Youth Engagement Officer, says Blake is truly inspirational. 

“Blake is a remarkable young woman who holds a special place in my heart. It was her, along with a few other youth at that time, that had applied to do the first independent youth led programming. She since has made incredible strides as a leader and businesswoman in the region, and I can say without a doubt that her unwavering commitment to community will lead to a legacy of her own. I am so proud of who she has become, and who she will grow to be.”  – Labrador Youth Engagement Officer, Monika Rumbolt 

Sheppard-Pardy is already looking into connecting with Monika to start developing future programming through the support of our EleV Initiative, like a potential Winter Wellness Program or a return of the Neurodiverse Summer Camp.  

Learn more about Holistic Haven Inc:

Visit their website: holistichaveninc.com 

Facebook: Holistic Haven Inc. 

Fill out a pre-intake form here: Holistic Haven Inc. Pre-Service Intake Questioner