The Founding of GoodMinds.com
The story of GoodMinds.com is one of entrepreneurship, a passion for learning and education, a deep respect for Aboriginal cultures, and a proactive recognition of a severe lack of quality Aboriginal-related learning materials. Today, GoodMinds.com is a thriving family owned and operated business based on the Six Nations of the Grand River at Brantford, Ontario, Canada. The company now carries more than 6,000 titles including School library books with the Aboriginal collection.
Although GoodMinds.com technically opened its “doors” in April 2000 to distribute Aboriginal educational resources, the roots of the business extend to a combination of events in 1987 and 1995. Today, GoodMinds.com is owned by Linda Burnham and operated by Linda and Jeff Burnham and 15 staff to date, including Sheila Staats, Marlene Turkington, Rosemary Lunau, Kalvin Fuller and others.
Our Beginnings, “Technically”…
In 1987, Jeff Burnham – GoodMinds.com’s President – launched Working World Training Centre, a computer training business that grew to significant success before being sold to launch GoodMinds.com. Ironically the success of a three-month multimedia training program that Jeff held at Working World for unemployed individuals, unveiled the need for the GoodMinds.com concept. (Working World Training Centre continues to operate in Hamilton and Brantford under new ownership.)
During the three-month class project, the students developed a prototype CD-ROM that interpreted the exceptional artwork of Tuscarora artist, Raymond R. Skye, and became known as The Great Peace... The Gathering of Good Minds. This resulting interactive CD-ROM beautifully portrayed the history of the Iroquois, based on The Great Law of Peace, which many understand to be the foundation of the Iroquois Confederacy. By the end of the “little project that grew”, about 20,000 working hours had been invested and the CD-ROM created unexpected excitement among those educators who purchased it.
In December 1998, Jeff released for distribution the 3000-plus-screen CD, The Great Peace… The Gathering of Good Minds CD-ROM. It wasn’t long before The Great Peace received positive endorsements from across Canada as educators and librarians reported the high levels of interest it created in their classrooms and libraries. In fact, many who purchased The Great Peace also asked if additional resource materials were available.
The Great Peace formed the basis for the founding of GoodMinds.com. As for the people who developed The Great Peace, they continue to feel a deep sense of pride in the CD and its results.
Recognizing the need for a one-stop source for quality Aboriginal resource material, Jeff Burnham and his team decided to seek out and make available the best educational works by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal publishers alike. The resulting on-line Internet book catalogue, now reaches educators, librarians and the general public, providing unique resources to inspire their students.
GoodMinds.com continually searches for innovative ways to enhance the educational materials and resources available. From books and educational kits to CD-ROMs and DVDs, each inventory item is reviewed and evaluated for content quality.