BCB MayJune 2022_LR

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1468031

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ON THE RADAR ( the informer ) M ost recording artists can point to a specific moment in music that changed their lives. For Dakota Bear, it was the premiere of 8 Mile, the 2002 hip- hop drama starring Eminem. "I didn't really listen to hip-hop until I watched that movie," Bear recalls. "It's about some- one who came from a house- hold full of chaos and addiction using music to tell their story, and that resonated with me." The Nehiyaw musician, born and raised in Saskatoon, is a descendant of residential school survivors. "Everything that happened in those schools took a toll on our bloodlines, and I have done a lot of learn- ing and healing," he says. "That's actually why I stepped into music and writing—as a form of healing and express- ing myself." Today, Bear can identify the violent series of colonial actions that led to the hardships of his youth: land dispossession, the pass and permit system, the Indian Act, residential schools, the decimation of the buffalo, rationing turned government relief turned welfare. "It really is manufactured poverty," he says. But for a child, the systemic oppression wasn't so obvious: what Bear saw was poverty, mental illness and family mem- bers struggling with addiction. "I didn't have a lot of healthy role models, but everyone there was trying their best with what they had." At 16, Bear bought his first microphone, plugged it into his computer and started recording on his own. That same DIY spirit launched Decolonial Clothing, Return It Two Vancouver-based Indigenous entrepreneurs are using the power of the retail and music industries to get land back, for real by Alyssa Hirose A R T S A N D C U LT U R E STATEMENT STREETWEAR Vancouver-based Decolonial Clothing's products are a fashion- focused enterprise to dismantle colonial oppression ADAM BLASBERG MAY/JUNE 2022 BCBUSINESS 7 DIY SPIRIT Dakota Bear and his partner, Casey Desjarlais, have launched three ambitious business ventures in two years The Justice for Indigenous T-shirt symbolizes the fight for equality in the health care, justice, education and child welfare systems The Big Bear long sleeve features Treaty 6 Cree leader Mistahi Maskwa, also known as Big Bear, a powerful Indigenous leader in the Great Plains during the late 1800s The front of the Medicine hoodie sports Cree syllabics that translate in Nêhiyawêwin to "Miyo Maskihki," meaning "Good Medicine"

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