October 27, 2017
Great People Doing Great Things: Make-Up Brand Helping Indigenous Youth
Three years ago, Jennifer Harper had a dream. “There were all of these little Aboriginal girls, and they were playing with lip gloss. It was all over everything, and I woke up and I was like, ‘That’s it, that’s what I’m going to do.'” The Anishinaabe marketing and sales professional, who grew up in St. Catharines, wanted to give back to her community, and that night, she decided she’d do it with makeup—an industry she had never worked in.
And so, Harper started drawing up a business plan for Cheekbone Beauty, a name she took nine months to land on; she chose it because it’s her favourite facial feature and also because First Nations people are known for their gloriously high ones. In December 2016, Harper launched the made-in-Toronto line via e-tail, and she’s now shipping her lipsticks, glosses, contour kits and brow products across Canada, the U.S. and Australia. She’s since found fans in prominent Indigenous women like Ashley Callingbull and Buffy Sainte-Marie (and has even named liquid lipsticks after them).
But Cheekbone Beauty is far more than a product range. Immediately after conceiving the concept, Harper started searching for an Indigenous initiative to support with future profits. She saw the work Indigenous activist Cindy Blackstock was doing at The First Nations Child & Family Caring Society, so she joined its donation program for small businesses and pledged to give 10 percent of all Cheekbone profits to the cause.
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Students Teaching Students
Two Grade 3 and 4 classes in Whitby, Ont. are learning about Indigenous culture from students thousands kilometres away in northern Ontario.
"We thought, how can we actually learn about the Indigenous people and what they're going through?" said Patriza Bortoluzzi, a teacher librarian at Theresa Catholic School and St. Matthew The Evangelist Catholic School in Whitby, Ont.
The three classes communicate over padlet, an app that allows the classes to post on a virtual bulletin board. Students ask each other questions like what language do you speak? Where do you go on field trips? And is it cold there?
"Almost like a glorified pen pal, so to speak," said Loretta Traynor, a teacher at St. Theresa.
The teachers said that they are focusing on an "inquiry classroom" allowing the students to ask questions and discover the similarities and difference between them, which also gives the students a language to describe their own cultural identities, something the Grade 3 social studies curriculum focuses on.
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Pe Sla is for Native Youth
It’s been nearly six months since 2,300 acres were put into a federal trust for four Sioux tribes. The future of Pe Sla now lies in the hands of Native American youth.
"Without our youth knowing our history, they will never know where we want to be in the future,” said Joe Buck Colombe, Pe Sla caretaker.
Buck says at least 10 youth groups have been to Pa Sla since the former Reynolds Ranch was awarded to the tribes.
"Tribes have come forth and become more involved with their youth,” said Buck.
"We as indigenous people here in the hills, we want this area to be known as a very cultural, very sacred place for our youth,” said Buck, “We want them to bring our language back, we want them to keep our buffalo's lineage strong, and we want them to keep passing down this knowledge as time goes, from the ones that are unborn to the ones that are here now. We just want them to keep doing that over and over."
Watch for "Reservations" coming to Fox' Sitcom Line-Up
Created and written by Lucas Brown Eyes, Reservations is based on his real-life story. The comedy follows a Native American family that trades their impoverished reservation for Los Angeles, a move inspired by the dreams of a 14-year-old boy to live in Hollywood. But adjusting to life in this new world of Teslas and $10 lattes proves to be weirder and more complicated than this loud, proud and tight-knit family was expecting.