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.”

BusinessMaskwacis

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

 

Stay Rooted clothing line

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 16 additional deaths Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
No easing of Alberta’s COVID-19 measures Thursday, 678 new COVID-19 cases

The province also hit 1,500 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

File photo
Leduc RCMP lay charges in theft of catalytic converters

Two males arresed and charged with theft of several catalytic converters.

Black Press file photo
UPDATE: Leduc RCMP on scene of serious collision at intersection of Highway 2A and Highway 616

Both drivers were transported to hospital in serious condition; all lanes of travel now open.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the Canadian government should consider sanctions on the U.S. if they refuse to reconsider the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Keystone XL officially cancelled, Kenney vows to fight on

U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the presidential permit for the pipeline on first day of office

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said province’s test positivity rate for COVID-19 is steadily declining. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
669 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 21 additional deaths

COVID-19 test positivity rate down to 4.5 per cent

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Calgary flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

(Photo submitted)
Community Futures brings back Social Media Challenge for 2021

This time the challenge is for non-profits and community groups

Lucas Berg, left, with the backpacks filled with essential items he donated to the Red Deer Mustard Seed Jan. 19, 2021. (Photo submitted)
Central Alberta teenager donates filled 20 backpacks to Red Deer Mustard Seed

Lucas Berg, 14, of Ponoka County says he ‘just wants to help people’

A conveyor belt transports coal at the Westmoreland Coal Co.’s Sheerness mine near Hanna, Alta., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Coal mining impacts are already occurring in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains even as debate intensifies over the industry’s presence in one of the province’s most beloved landscapes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
As Alberta debates coal mining, industry already affecting once-protected Rockies

UCP revoked a policy that had protected eastern slopes of the Rockies from open-pit coal mining since 1976

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb. TC Energy Corp. is planning to eliminate more than 1,000 construction jobs related to its decision to halt work on its Keystone XL pipeline expansion project. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
TC Energy cutting more than 1,000 Keystone XL construction jobs as Biden pulls permit

Some 200 kilometres of pipe have already been installed for the expansion

Kyla Gibson with her boyfriend Gavin Hardy. (Photo used with permission)
Sylvan Lake couple lose ‘fur babies’ to house fire

‘They were our world and nothing will ever replace them,’ Kyla Gibson said of her three pets

Most Read