Dwight Snowshoe, a Tetlit Gwich’in man, is individually hand-pressing each logo onto every piece of clothing he sends out.
His brand, Everyday Warrior-Indigenous Pride, seeks to connect Indigenous people with a positive message they can wear and share with their community.
With no experience in the clothing industry or running his own business, Snowshoe started his brand in 2018 because he wanted to encourage Indigenous people to feel proud of their culture.
“It’s just to share positive messages amongst and with Indigenous communities,” he said.
Everyday Warrior-Indigenous Pride’s logo consists of four components, each signifying a different part of Indigenous identity. Photo: Dwight Snowshoe
Carefully crafted, the design has a bigger message behind it. Each word and symbol were selected by Snowshoe to represent a different part of Indigenous identity.
He uses the word “everyday” to symbolize the struggle Indigenous people face in daily life, and the journey to find positivity and better oneself.
The word “warrior” is used to embody the resiliency and adaptability of Indigenous people and the regaining of their identities.
The red arrow at the bottom is used to showcase the power of all Indigenous people, while focusing on moving forward.
The Indigenous Pride phrase is important because it shows the significance of the way in which a lot of people “struggle with their identity,” said Snowshoe.
“It just means being proud of where you came from and where you are today, and where you want to go.”
Snowshoe says he hopes the meaning behind the brand is what drives people to buy his products, and that everyone understands the message they are wearing, as opposed to regular everyday clothing.
“There’s a lot of nice clothing out there but, at the same time, it’s nice to have people relate to something,” he said.
Originally from Fort McPherson, Snowshoe now lives in Whitehorse where he works as a transitional support worker, helping those in the justice system.
Teaching himself everything from how to make a business model to using a clothing heat press machine, he operates as a one-person team.
Starting off as a side-business in his free time, Everyday Warrior has now become a bigger part of Snowshoe’s life. With the Covid-19 pandemic, Snowshoe says he has been able to dedicate more time to building his business.
Giving back to the community is also important to Snowshoe. He currently donates five percent of his profits to helping local underprivileged youth.
This past fall, he gave an $800 scholarship to a youth attending post-secondary school and is hoping to do the same again this year.
With the growth of his brand, he says he hopes to give out multiple scholarships a year and help families with sports fees, such as paying for hockey equipment or registration in a recreational league.
“Within the community, there’s a lot of youth who don’t have the financial support,” he said.
“I just want to grow to the point where I can give numerous supports and scholarships throughout the year.”
His overall goal with the business is to reach Indigenous communities across the globe, not just in Canada, as he feels like groups worldwide can relate to the significance of his brand.
“It’s not the financial goal that I’m trying to seek, it’s more like the message,” he said.
He hopes others are inspired when they see his products and that they feel positivity when they see the logo and recognize the significance behind it.
“A lot of people have potential and sometimes you just have to see something like a simple thing on clothing to possibly inspire you,” he said. “You never know what people go through on a daily basis.”