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

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the province still hopes to bring the hospitalization number down before relaxing restrictions. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
14 new deaths, 366 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta

Province nearing 100K COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

(Photo submitted)
OUR COMMUNITY: Central Alberta researchers are innovators in agricultural sciences

Jessica Sperber of Ponoka, and David MacTaggart of Lacombe awarded prestigious scholarship

(Photo submitted)
Ponoka RCMP receives new police puppy trainee

The Ponoka RCMP detachment has said goodbye to their police dog trainee… Continue reading

Marilyn Chidlow. (File photo)
Ponoka figure skating leader celebrated on her birthday

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame celebrated Ponoka inductee Marilyn Chidlow on… Continue reading

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

In this undated image made from a video taken by the Duke of Sussex and posted on @SaveChildrenUK by the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, shows the Duchess of Sussex reading the book “Duck! Rabbit!” to their son Archie who celebrates his first birthday on Wednesday May 6, 2020. The Canadian Paediatric Society is reminding families that the process of raising a reader starts from birth. (Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK)
Canadian Paediatric Society says raising a reader starts from birth

CPS says literacy is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong health outcomes

Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough responds to a question during a news conference Thursday August 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Easing rules for parental benefits created inequities among parents, documents say

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough’s office says the government will make any necessary changes

People walk along a pedestrianized zone of Sainte-Catherine street in Montreal, Monday, May 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Newly released statistics point to a major drop in police-recorded crime during the first eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Crime down in first 8 months of pandemic, but mental health calls rise: StatCan

The agency says violent crimes such as assault dropped significantly

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

Art Kempf, originally from the Stettler area but now living in Lacombe, is pictured here with his late wife Lillian. Art’s 100th birthday is coming up on Feb. 22nd.
photo submitted
Former Stettler area resident Art Kempf will be celebrating a very special day next month

Kempf, now a Lacombe resident, marks his 100th birthday on Feb. 22nd

'The Coronavirus Isn't Scary' by Kristy Walker.
Sylvan Lake author pens first children’s book about COVID-19

“The Coronavirus Isn’t Scary” by Kristy Walker teaches children to take care of themselves

Most Read