Craft Alliance is preparing to launch a business development program for artisan businesses across Atlantic Canada called the Craft Hub Activator Project.
The Craft Hub Activator Project will assist Atlantic Canadian producers and maker focused businesses from diverse communities including: BIPOC, persons who identify as 2SLGBTQ+ and persons with disabilities, with business development, coaching/mentoring, and increased sales through innovation, capacity building and product development. As export development is a key aspect of the Craft Alliance mandate, the program will also include export readiness and export market entry for those businesses interested in expanding beyond Atlantic Canada.
The Craft Hub Activator Project is a two-year business development project to enhance, support and further develop wholesale market opportunities and to create new representation from diverse maker communities in the small-scale manufacturing sector (craft, giftware and apparel production) in Atlantic Canada. Contact the Program Coordinator, Spencer, at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest in the project!
Craft Alliance Atlantic Association supports the growth of craftspeople working on the ancestral and un-ceded territories of the Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, Wolastoqiyik, Beothuk, the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut, and the Innu of Nitassinan. We support the upholding of the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1752 and 1761 which re-affirmed the land, hunting and trading rights of this land’s original people and encourage clients and partners to explore the fundamental impact of First Nations craftsmanship on the current craft traditions enjoyed here today.
We also acknowledge the diverse communities in our region that make up our diaspora, such as the many descendants of African Nova Scotians and the Black Loyalists, who faced many hardships and threats of re-entering slavery upon their arrival to this part of Canada. The harmful effects of systemic and outright racism remain a harsh reality for many people today.
Craft Alliance supports the Black Lives Matter movement and encourages retailers to take steps in evaluating what they can do to support craftspeople from diverse backgrounds, including supporting makers who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, as well as 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and persons with disabilities.
Each of us, in our work and personal lives, holds a responsibility to consider our relationship to colonialism and its persisting impacts on First Nation communities, and discrimination in all forms against black, indigenous, POC, 2SLGBTQIA+ and immigrant populations. By reflecting and educating ourselves, each person can develop their own path for approaching reconciliation and decolonization. We are all treaty people, and together, our individual and collective efforts can have an impact.
Below are some of the commitments we have made and additional resources for those considering how they can support BIPOC and diverse makers and affect a positive impact on their community.
50-30 Challenge for Organizational Diversity
Craft Alliance has committed to joining the 50-30 Challenge
On November 30, 2020, the Government of Canada’s Fall Economic Statement pointed to systemic barriers and discrimination in the workplace as a continuing challenge faced by many Canadians and the need for initiatives to ensure all workers are treated equally in the workplace, including at the highest levels of leadership.
The 50 – 30 Challenge challenges Canadian organizations to improve gender equality and representation on board(s) and senior management teams including those of Indigenous and racialized persons, those who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+, and people living with disabilities (including invisible and episodic disabilities). The effort also asks organizations to implement strategies to meaningfully improve the representation, hiring, and recognition of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples as founding peoples of Canada.
The challenge is rooted in two aspirational commitments:
1) Gender parity (50%)
2) Significant representation (30%) on boards and senior management
Craft Alliance has worked towards this goal by committing to recruiting diverse individuals for an recent round of board appointments which occurred in June, 2021.
Learn more about the 50-30 Challenge here: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icgc.nsf/eng/07706.html
15 Percent Pledge Canada
The 15% Pledge is calling on Canada’s major retailers to support brands that are representative of the diverse Canadian population. It’s high time that wealth and opportunity were distributed more equitably and intentionally to BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Colour).
Canada’s population is 5% Indigenous and 3.5% Black. According to the 2016 census, 22.3% of Canadians identify as visible minorities. This petition calls on Canadians to apply the 15% Pledge in support of economic equality for the BIPOC of Canada.
While this pledge was initially conceived by members of the retail and fashion industries with an eye towards mobilizing large multi-brand retailers to grow their share of shelf-space dedicated to Black-owned businesses, we fully believe that the spirit of this pledge and the steps we propose can be adopted across industries and in the lives of every individual, even at the consumer level. We encourage you to take this pledge in your own life, and share with us how you can implement a plan into your own life or within your company.
For more information and to sign the petition visit: https://www.15percentpledge.ca/
Discover BIPOC makers:
Nujintuisga’tijig E’pijig: Discover indigenous woman-made art, artisan products and services on this new website, launched, December 2020: https://www.nujintuisgatijig.ca/
People of Craft: People of Craft is an international database showcasing creatives of color and their craft in design, advertising, tech, illustration, lettering, art, and more. It’s time to redefine what a creative looks like. https://peopleofcraft.com/
National and Regional Organizations supporting BIPOC makers, fighting systemic racism and advocating for marginalized groups:
AfroBiz – Discover black-owned businesses & black entrepreneurs from the Maritime region
ArtsPond – The mission of ArtsPond is to cultivate progressive ideas and untapped potential in the arts into exceptional, everyday shared realities for collective impact on-the-ground and in-the-cloud. Devoted to radical inclusivity, their mandate is to nurture healthy human ecosystems that challenge and displace escalating social inequality, economic precarity, spatial gentrification, digital transformation, and other urgent systemic issues by fostering cooperative actions fusing the values and practices of social innovation and the arts.
Black Artists Network in Dialogue – BAND is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting, documenting and showcasing the artistic and cultural contributions of Black artists and cultural workers in Canada and internationally.
Black Artists Union – The BAU (Black Artists Union) assists in the movement and exhibition of artists and creators of the African diaspora. We aim to represent the ideas and work of contemporary Black creators. As art being a language to connect with others, this is a platform to help develop skills for navigating and engaging in art spaces.
Black Business Initiative (Nova Scotia) – The Black Business Initiative is committed to growing a stronger Black presence in Nova Scotia’s business community. They act as a catalyst for job creation, equitable participation, and advancing the economic prosperity of Nova Scotia.
Black Cultural Society of Prince Edward Island – The Black Cultural Society of Prince Edward Island (BCSPEI) was founded in 2016 because of the gap left by the dissolution of the Black Islanders Cooperative and the growing need for an organization to represent, support and advocate for the growing Black community on Prince Edward Island as well as the descendants of Black Islanders. They are presently in the midst of strategic planning and organizational development to create a solid, sustainable foundation so that more needs of the community can be met.
Black North – Led by The Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism, The BlackNorth Initiative is on a mission to end anti-Black systemic racism throughout all aspects of our lives by utilizing a business first mindset.
Diversity Institute (Ryerson) – The Ted Rogers School of Management’s Diversity Institute (DI) promotes diversity and inclusion as the key to Canada’s competitiveness. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Wendy Cukier, the Diversity Institute has conducted groundbreaking research on diversity and inclusion in Canada, developed impactful programs like the Newcomer Entrepreneurship Hub, championed legislative change on Bill C-25 and has helped companies understand the opportunities of inclusion and develop tools to harness inclusion as a driver for success.
Tribe Network – Tribe Network is Canada’s BIPOC Entrepreneurship & Innovation Hub — providing Black, Indigenous and People of Colour with access to the relevant networks, resources and opportunities to succeed as entrepreneurs and leaders.
Free course: Indigenous Canada, University of Alberta
Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. Topics for the 12 lessons include the fur trade and other exchange relationships, land claims and environmental impacts, legal systems and rights, political conflicts and alliances, Indigenous political activism, and contemporary Indigenous life, art and its expressions.
Enroll for free: https://www.coursera.org/learn/indigenous-canada
Videos: How White Folks Can Take Anti-racist Action During COVID-19 (5-part)
Supporting docs: Reading & resource list
Video: The Impact of COVID-19 on BIPOC Artists, Arts Administrators and Cultural Organizations presented by Arts Administrators of Color Network (USA)