It is National Indigenous Peoples Day! At Sarjesa, we aren’t only celebrating the diverse history and culture that Indigenous people bring to our lives and country, but we are acknowledging reconciliation in real, tangible ways. A lot of what we do at Sarjesa is to be better and do better for Indigenous women who have been mistreated; we are working towards a better, safer future for those who need it.
How are you celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day? What are your Calls to Action?
To me, a large part about being an activist is making sure that I’m making necessary lifestyle changes to support communities that have been brought down by oppressive systems and to step away from the things that aren’t serving me or those communities.
Lately, this lifestyle change has emerged in one main form: shopping. There has been a TON of dialogue surrounding shopping and sustainability lately, and rightfully so. But I’ve found that throughout this dialogue, one major detail is missing — a focus on supporting small Indigenous and POC businesses. One of my (many) other projects outside of Sarjesa is creating a racially conscious shopping guide for the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation, a non-profit in Calgary with the goal of ending racism through education. Through this work with CanadianCMF, I learned a lot about the importance of being mindful when shopping, having truthful and meaningful conversations surrounding race and consumerism, and supporting Indigenous/POC businesses and artisans.
This is why I am so thrilled to introduce Indig Inc to our audience at Sarjesa! Indig Inc is an online marketplace for Indigenous artisans to sell their work without being exploited or discriminated against. Indig Inc was created by Heather Abbey and Samuel Tipewan, two artisans who saw the potential of Indigenous artisans’ creativity and business goals, but recognized the absence of a platform to support them.
“Our inspiration was to create an online meeting place for artisans and buyers looking for that authentic experience and storyline connection. Indig Inc is a space where the stories of the artisans is weaved into the very fabric of platform, offering an authentic experience in a new way, and connecting people across the globe.”
Indig Inc has a wide variety of products, including art, apparel, home decor, skincare and dry meat — all sold by Indigenous artisans! A few of my favourites are this “We Are Still Here” bracelet by indigenousintentions, this Matriarch Panel Dress by Tammy Beauvis Designs, and this Desert Everyday Blanket by MiNi TiPi.
If you are an Indigenous artisan looking for somewhere safe to sell your work or if you are simply looking to support small businesses and artisans, Indig Inc is exactly where you should be looking.
At Sarjesa, we are strong believers that you can make an impact through small, everyday actions, and this is one of them.