Like most people in British Columbia, we live and work on the unceded, traditional territory of the Indigenous Peoples that have lived on these lands since time immemorial.
In our case the territories of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, the Squamish Nation, Lil̓wat7úl, the Lil’wat Nation, and the Ktunaxa Nation.
We founded 7mesh to create great biking apparel. But in starting a BC business, we felt we had a duty to recognize the dark parts of our country’s history, and a responsibility to confront how outdoor adventure recreation has been built upon, and can perpetuate, the legacy of colonial impact on Indigenous Peoples and culture. Reconciliation is a journey of commitment, of listening and learning. Making progress means embracing discomfort, and sometimes making mistakes, and we believe this unfortunately leads many businesses to remain disengaged. But by working with leaders in this area we can limit our mistakes, and contribute while learning to do better as individuals and as a business. We would especially like to thank our friends at the Indigenous Youth Mountain Bike Program (IYMBP) who have helped us progress along the path of understanding and action. We are helping each other grow.
As a non-Indigenous business, we recognize a line between support and appropriation and strive to do the right things.
What we do:
- Support leading organizations in the space doing great work
- Spread awareness of Indigenous issues in general, especially where they intersect with cycling & outdoor recreation
- Respect & share information regarding Indigenous lands, languages, and landmarks
- Commit to continuous learning on how we can help dismantle legacy colonial systems impacting Indigenous Peoples, and foster reconciliation
What we don’t do:
- Use Indigenous artwork, words or storytelling to promote our commercial work (without permission)
- Speak on behalf of any Indigenous Peoples or individuals
Indigenous Youth Mountain Bike Program
The IYMBP was founded to help Indigenous youth develop active lifestyles, new skills, and connect with their traditional territories - all through the power of mountain biking and trail building. But this work is about more than trails. It’s a vehicle for non-Indigenous people who play on Indigenous lands to gain a greater understanding of what it means to stand in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, to become allies, and to work together to ensure the health of the land we all depend on.
Since 7mesh and the IYMBP started working together, we've provided funds, gear, developed a custom shirt program for trail builders and riders, and used our reach to gain media coverage for the IYMBP's important work. This coverage has included print articles and a live broadcast spot on Red Bull TV as part of our Crankworx sponsorship. We also supported & participated in the inaugural Allies Mountain Bike Festival.
Watch Allies, a 7mesh-produced short film about the people behind the Indigenous Youth Mountain Bike Program, and the important work they’re doing to reconnect, inspire and educate Indigenous youth.
Our name & logo are nods to the place we live, and our aspiration to be allies to Indigenous Peoples. You can read more here.
Resources for your Journey
Helping is a commitment, and being informed is a great way to start.
What can I do to support authentic reconciliation?
Know the land you ride and play on. Who are the First Peoples who have lived and cared for those lands since time immemorial? What are their stories, their history, their language and culture? To learn about a specific area, check out Native Land, a fantastic resource on Indigenous lands and languages around the world.
How can I engage on Indigenous issues?
Check out the ideas and guidelines in Working in a Good Way, a best practices guide for engaging with Indigenous Peoples on trails and outdoor projects, produced by the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC.
Where can I learn more?
Learn more about the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.
Learn about trail building and reconciliation from First Journey Trails.
Review CBC’s summary of Canada’s progress on the 94 recommendations from the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.
Learn more about the great work of the IYMBP.
Start right away, with these personal acts of reconciliation from the CBC.