Students and teachers are back in school at the Morley Community School and the busy fall season is underway.
The grade 10 and 11 students in Renette Kurz’s entrepreneurial academy are busy with classes and volunteering in the school's Mînî Thnî Mini Mart where they sell clothing that they helped create. At the Mini Mart or online, people can purchase items from the Îyethka Trading Co. clothing line. Kurz says, “The line includes quality T-shirts and hoodies all with a unique logo designed by local artist and former Morley Community School language instructor Tyson Crawler. The clothing also has Stoney phrases in Iyethka Nakoda language on them. You can hear the pride in the teacher's voice when she speaks of her student's accomplishments, “Our kids are really hard-working, and it's just been, I think, the big reward is just seeing how proud they are of seeing our staff and we've had people over from the Health Center that has bought them. So, they see people in the community wearing something that we did, a really high-quality product with really high-quality art by a local artist. It's just, you know, nice to see people not wearing it because they feel like they have to, but because they like the stuff too.”
The students in the entrepreneurial academy are especially busy ahead of this coming weekend and next week as they have helped create a beautiful unique orange shirt in recognition of Orange Shirt Day on September 30. They will be selling the shirts this Saturday, September 24 at the artsPlace Community Market Day in Canmore. Kurz says, “Tyson Crawler, who is the artist that's done the artwork for our logo, he did an orange shirt logo that he dedicated to his parents called Tipi which is another way to say home.” Kurz adds, “The orange t-shirts are just for a fundraiser and with that money, we’ll do a donation to the Orange Shirt Society.” They will have 150 orange shirts to sell at $25 each.
Those who visit the students at their table at the artsPlace Community Market Day will be able to view and purchase the merchandise. You will also receive cards with various Stoney words and their pronunciation as they work to spread knowledge of their Indigenous language.
The Îyethka Trading Co. clothing line is growing to meet the increasing demand for the high-quality artistic clothing. New this year, are black hats with the company logo on the front which represents the community, and red stitching on the back saying Mini Thni which means cold water. There are also purple, medicine wheel red, and sage green shirts as well as white and grey hoodies.
Morley Community School’s entrepreneurial academy is teaching students invaluable lessons about being entrepreneurs and business while at the same time instilling a strong sense of pride in Indigenous culture, art, and language which they in turn are sharing with their customers.
If you are interested in purchasing from the Iyethka Trading Co click HERE.