pipikwan pêhtâkwan – an Indigenous public relations agency
Gwin Communications changes name and rebrands to better serve our team and our clients
To better reflect our growing team and our values, we sought a new name. In May of this year, we attended a Cree naming ceremony to continue decolonizing our workplace and staying true to our guiding principles. By placing our trust in ceremony, in our ways of knowing and being, we were gifted the name pipikwan pêhtâkwan (pee-pee-gwan pee-tah-gwan).
pipikwan pêhtâkwan means eagle bone whistle that is heard loudly. The eagle bone whistle is used to wake the ancestors in a specific ceremony. Elder Ken Saddleback, who gave us the name, shared that pipikwan pêhtâkwan will be heard throughout the land and the heavens to wake the ancestors.
With the new name, we felt a new look and feel was needed. Our new logo was designed by First Nations artist Kevin Cardinal, a member of Bigstone Cree Nation. His artwork depicts an eagle calling, which represents our name and the meaning. The calling vibrations represent the four directions, the brown stone is our values and guiding principles, the green stone is our vision and the orange stone is our mission. The smudge burning on top of the orange stone represents the spirit and intent of our organization.
pipikwan pêhtâkwan is formerly known as Gwin Communications, a sole proprietorship created by Shani Gwin in 2016. The intent was to continue using her last name after building credibility in the communications field in Edmonton. Clients would be able to find her easily and build on her reputation. In 2021, Rolando Inzunza joined as a Managing Partner of Operations bringing his skill set to help build out the team and grow the company. In that short time, we have expanded to 10 full time, permanent staff and 10 part time staff and associates.
pipikwan pêhtâkwan is still an Indigenous owned, led and majority staffed public relations agency focused on elevating Indigenous voices, projects and issues. We are helpers who understand the barriers and know the language that resonates with our peoples. We collaborate with our partners to build communications strategies that work for Indigenous communities.
We still focus on investing in Youth to build capacity in our communities – whether they stay with us or move on – it is of benefit and helps us lift up Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island. We are building with seven generations in mind.
pipikwan pêhtâkwan is an incredibly meaningful name, with a lot of responsibility. We will continue sharing the truths, voices and stories of our peoples and bring light to their perspectives and history.