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Marlana “Kaneratenhawi” Thompson-Baker

SFU Alumni
Beedie School of Business › Marketing, Communication, Art + Technology › Contemporary Arts

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Marlana and her family
Never give up on your dreams ~ and tailor your schooling to suit your career needs ~ after starting my schooling in fashion design, my professor explained, learn the things you don't know, don't waste your time learning what you already know and don't waste time reinventing the wheel

Nation or Affiliation: 

Akwesasne Mohawk Nation

Where did you grow up? 

Akwesasne, which is located on the Ontario, Quebec and New York State border.

When did you learn to bead? 

I learned how to sew and bead and make regalia from all the aunts in my family each had a specialty, I also come from a long line of basket weavers.

Marlana smiling

Write a Brief Timeline of Your Schooling Experience.

I went to school on the reserve, and then High school off reserve. I went to St. Lawrence and got a degree in Business Admin and Marketing, I also took some classes at Algonquin in Ottawa for fashion design.

Share Your Experience Finding Funding. 

All My funding for schooling was through AMBE (Akwesasne Board of Education) and the Akwesasne Area Management Board. 

Share a Time You Wanted to Quit.

I wanted to quit several times when my kids were sick and I had a big work and school load (I worked fulltime at our casino, while I went to school full time with 2 toddlers). But after talking to my professors I was able to make a schedule that worked for all of us.

Share Your Proudest Moment.

My proudest moment is when I see my work dancing in a powwow.

Marlana dancing in a powwow

Where are you currently in respect to your education? 

I have a Business Admin and Marketing, a Degree in Fashion design and a degree in construction Management.

What has been your most important lesson returning to school? 

Time management, a good baby sitter and coffee.

What advice do you have to offer other Indigenous students? 

Never give up on your dreams  ~ and tailor your schooling to suit your career needs ~ after starting my schooling in fashion design, my professor explained, learn the things you don't know, don't waste your time learning what you already know and don't waste time reinventing the wheel.

Shoes marlana made

What are your goals for the future?

More business, and more time with my family.

About the Author

Marlana “Kaneratenhawi” Thompson-Baker

SFU Alumni
Beedie School of Business › Marketing, Communication, Art + Technology › Contemporary Arts

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