Students can now buy from an Indigenous clothing line in the campus store thanks to the first Indigenous representative on campus, Hayden Hovey.
Indigenous Clothing Line
Hayden Hovey, the first Indigenous Representative on the SRC, brings Indigenous visibility to campus with his clothing line called “Menahqesk”. The line got its name because “Menahqesk” is the traditional land name for Saint John.
According to Hovey, it means “the place of the sea taking the land” in Wolastoqiyik. “It was considered a place of gathering” he indicated.
The clothing line consists of unisex hoodies and t-shirts that say “Menahqesk” and are available at the store in the G. Forbes Elliot Athletics Centre and online. A portion of the profits will fund UNB’s Indigenous student groups on campus.
Hovey says that using items of the clothing line “…[shows] Indigenous students that they are represented on our campus and also [gives] non-Indigenous students the opportunity to learn.”
Apart from the “Menahqesk” clothing line, more Indigenous products can be found at the store such as books, candles and more.
Hayden Hovey, alongside being the first SRC Indigenous Representative, is a student in his fourth year of sociology with a concentration in criminal justice. Hovey explains that reconciliation is not only the responsibility of Indigenous people, but everyone.
“It’s about an ongoing relationship between equal nations which can be supported through conversation” he says.
To create the clothing line Hovey worked with UNB Saint John’s Indigenous Advisor Todd Ross. “I was fortunate to supervise Hayden’s Indigenous clothing line project through the Social Science in Practicum course”, Ross explained.
Social Science in Practicum course
The Social Science in Practicum course (SOCS4501) is an experiential learning course offered on campus that pairs students with a mentor/organization to provide learning opportunities. It combines hands-on problem-solving and research so students can find solutions to real-world problems while working within the community.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The clothing line comes as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is held at the end of the month. The day takes place on September 30. UNB will be closed to reflect and to honour those who did not return home from residential schools and their families and communities.
The day was implemented by the federal government last year when they said that “…public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process”.