November 8, 2012

Post-Manito Ahbee

Ah! Hello everyone!!

Things are finally settling down for a hot second (before they pick back up again for the Michigan event) and I wanted to tell you a little bit about this past weekend at Manito Ahbee!

First off, two of the Beyond Buckskin Boutique artists flew into North Dakota and they camped at the Metcalfe compound in Gardena North Dakota for a couple of days before we dashed past the North 40 up to Canada.

MaRia Bird (Mea B'Fly) and Andrea Preston (DreLynn Design) made the big trip up from Arizona to attend all the festivities. It was so great to spend quality time with two bright, creative, smart, talented, and fun ladies. What they do professionally and personally is just so wonderful. It was great to have time to talk with them about Beyond Buckskin, about Native art, and about business. They've inspired me so much, there will be many cool projects coming up that have them to thank.

We drove up to Winnipeg on Halloween and picked up a third BBB artist, Nicholas Galanin (aka Silver Jackson, and co-owner of Dick Bernanin Menswear). He was performing for the Aboriginal Music Week, which we all got to experience for three awesome nights. We checked out Cris Derksen, Samantha Crain, Don Amero, Keith Secola, Silver Jackson himself, Murray Porter, Zuzuka Poderosa, A Tribe Called Red, and Gabriel Ayala. Oh and if you want to watch a pretty cool video of Silver Jackson with jazz pianist and Juno award winner Murray Porter, Dusty Roads (guitar), Zak D. Wass (guitar and vocals), and Ed Littlefield on the drums, click here.

APTN's Sky Bridges with Nicholas Galanin, both rockin' Dick Bernanin ties!
I was so blown away by the talent and diversity of musical genres - it was a true honor to be in the audience while these individuals shared their musical gifts with us. Each of the musicians were great picks to feature (kudos to the organizers!), and I can't wait to go to the next AMW. Musicians can be so inspiring, in a unique way, that added to the entire inspiring weekend. On a broader, intellectual level, they all deconstruct stereotypes about Native American music without even trying. It's refreshing to experience artists unhindered by those expectations and who are just plain ol' good at what they do.

A Tribe Called Red knocks our mocs off with their intelligent beats
By the time the powwow came around, we had already spent a couple days surrounded by creative types, so when it came time to setting up at the arena we were very excited about keeping that momentum of inspiration going.

A ton of friends and new folks stopped by to see what we were all about. Thank you everyone who came by! I got to catch up with so many people - my mind is still twirling and whirling with smiles, laughter, energy, excitement, possibilities, collaborations, stories, and just straight up goodness. I wish I was more diligent with the camera, but it wasn't until the powwow was over that I remembered to bust it out! Here's some pictures of our lovely customers!:

Me with the cool tie guy!

Many thanks to Alan Greyeyes and Jacob Pratt (above) for the support! We are already looking forward to next year - thank you Winnipeg for your hospitality, thank you to AMW for an awesome show night after night, and thank you Manito Ahbee for blessing us with your beats and dancers that kept me so busy that I didn't even know about Gwen Stefani's major Indian faux pas. Miigwech!

A sweet lil Tootoosis girl rockin' Mea B'Fly!
Note: All pictures are my own, except for the square photos, which are courtesy of Andrea Preston's Instagram account.