Empowering Indigenous youth to embrace their right to self-determination through the positive impact of skateboarding.
• We are an Indigenous-led organization who wants to inspire youth with our stories and encourage the importance of keeping our culture and traditions alive.
• Showing indigenous youth, the capability of what skateboarding can bring into an individual's life and share what it brought into our lives.
• Letting them flourish into the best versions of themselves.
• Caring about the well-being and mental health of our people and their communities.
• Strengthen communities through common interests (maybe skateboarding) or leads to some other art form.
• Breaking the cycle of distance within our own people and invest in our future leaders.
Listen to the struggles of youth is so important and can make a big difference in their self-esteem and mental health. Asking how to best support them and what changes they would like to see in their own communities. Teaching through storytelling and from real life events to help understand why change is so important.
THE FOUNDERS OF NATIONS
Rose Archie is from Tsq’escemc - Canim Lake, BC which is also known as “The People of Broken Rock”. She started skateboarding in the early 90’s and spent her teen years hitchhiking 1-2 hours to the closest skateparks with her sister. Through this experience, she made a connection with the skateboard community at an early age. Over the years Rose has helped grow the women’s skateboarding scene in Vancouver. She is the founder of an All-Women’s skateboard contest called “Stop, Drop and Roll”. By creating this annual event she hopes to inspire and encourage a positive environment that is inclusive to newcomers. When she is not skateboarding, Rose is spending time with her family in Tsq’escemc. She is making an effort to carry on her culture and traditions so she can pass them down to the next generation. As the President of Nations, Rose wants to see more skateparks being built in communities. She believes this will help promote a healthy lifestyle and keep the youth physically and mentally balanced.
Drin hozo! Professional skateboarder and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation, Dustin Henry has been reconnecting with his roots over the last year. Dustin recently moved to Vancouver to be closer to family and continue his spiritual journey. As part of this, he attended his first year of studying at Concordia University, majoring in First Peoples Studies. Dustin hopes to visit Dawson City more often, to learn from both his elders and the youth to keep Hän culture and traditions alive. He feels it is important to protect this for the next seven generations. Dustin believes youth are our future so we must take the time to listen to them. Dustin believes we must empower them and let them flourish, so that they can become the best versions of themselves. Dustin feels being involved with this non-profit organization is a huge step towards building more opportunities for youth. As Alanis Obomsawin says, “It is the time that we have that is so precious, and the best gift you can give to anybody is time, and really listen to what they have to say. Time is what will make a difference.” Mähsį cho (thank you very much).
Tristan Henry was born in Calgary, Alberta. He’s a member of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation. Skateboarding for 15 years, he finds it to be the most positive outlet in his life. Recently, Tristan went back to Dawson City to reconnect with his family. Since returning home to Vancouver, he's been going to school at NEC (Native Education College) starting his path to becoming a counsellor for Indigenous youth. He recently had the opportunity to put on a grip tape workshop for skaters of all ages during weekend event on Granville Island called “All Aboard”. He hopes in the future to have more experiences like this, being able to inspire the next generation of young skateboarders. Tristan believes the youth are our future and it’s important that we recognize that.
A direct descendent of Pitikwahanpiwiyin (Poundmaker), Joe Buffalo is from Maskwacis, Alberta and is a member of the Samson Cree Nation. Joe is a residential school survivor, having attended one of Canada’s last standing residential schools for five years. Residential schools were part of a government institution that is now recognized as a form of genocide. Skateboarding has helped Joe overcome trauma and adversity throughout his life by helping him focus on a positive activity, one that not only kept him busy, but also challenged him to grow. Now pro for Colonialism Skateboards, Joe is using his story and abilities to inspire a new generation of First Nations skateboarders.