Infamous clothing line

Maskwacis apparel entrepreneurs share brand stories

By Chevi Rabbit

For Ponoka News

Maskwacis has seen a number of entrepreneurs who create ready-made apparel clothing designs but each marketing strategy tells a different story, each very different from another.

“Stay Rooted” was created by Nêhiýaw (Cree) mother-daughter duo Kiya Bruno and Barbara Dumigan-Jackson whose mission is to spread awareness to help save our kikâwînaw (Mother Earth).

Dumigan-Jackson was raised in Onihcikiskwapiwin (Saddle Lake Cree Nation) and kâ-miyosicik kinosêwak (Good Fish Lake First Nation) in Treaty 6 Territory and Bruno hails from Nipisikohpahk (Samson Cree Nation).

“We are called ‘Stay Rooted’ because we don’t just want to plant trees and protect our nipiy (water), but we are also rooted within our culture, teachings, stories, language and traditions,” said Dumigan-Jackson.

“We want to share the importance of embracing culture through meaningful designs and apparel.”

She says that being rooted provides us with a sense of belonging and helps us remember who we are and where we come from as Nêhiyaw (Cree) people, and as Nêhiýaw people, we are people of the land.

She further explained that with every purchase, Stay Rooted is able to take action and give back to the people and kikâwînaw asking (Mother Earth).

For every item that is bought, Stay Rooted will plant two trees in the spring and summer of 2021.

“We also think giving back to our First Nation communities is fundamental. A portion of proceeds from every sale will go towards a nipiy (water) fund to help a First Nation community where we can help a family obtain clean drinking water,” said Dumigan-Jackson.

Another budding clothing apparel entrepreneur is VJ Curry who is the owner of “Infamous.”

He says his brand speaks to his upbringing as an Indigenous orphan. His mother is among Canada’s Missing and Murdered Women.

He spent his teenage years on the streets and surviving Canada’s child welfare system.

“I was born in Vancouver and brought back to Maskwacis to my Kokum (grandma) as an orphan,” said Curry.

“I grew up in foster homes when I wasn’t with my Kokum. I spent my teenage years on the streets and that’s where a lot of my saying for my designs come from — surviving the streets and poverty.”

Curry initially started his brand in honour of a relative who passed away.

“I wanted people to know who he was and what happened to the artist for my designs. I want people to know what a talented person he was. I used to tell him my design ideas and he’d make them for me.”

Curry also wanted to create something meaningful for his children.

“I grew up in poverty and didn’t want them growing up with nothing like I did. So, I’m trying my best to make this company a success,” he said.

“It hasn’t been easy. I don’t get a lot of support in my life but it’s been that way my whole life. So, it doesn’t really matter because I know how to survive. My designs are made for urban Indigenous peoples.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Stay Rooted clothing line

Just Posted

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Alberta joins Ontario in lowering minimum age for AstraZeneca vaccine

More than 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered in this country

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,516 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

Central zone has 1,849 active cases

Image/ Metro Creative Connection
County of Wetaskiwin responds to Alberta Energy Regulator’s decision on Directive 067.

On April 7, 2021 the Alberta Energy Regular (AER) announced a new edition of Directive 067.

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It’s not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he’d been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

Police are still looking for suspects, and have called in their forensics experts to help

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Most Read