My name is Rebekah and I am one-third of the family that makes up the clothing line “AKA Cruz Andina.” My partner, Akawui, launched the brand in 2015 with the aim of Indigenizing the fashion world and using the proceeds to create positive change for youth and Indigenous communities internationally. I joined him on this journey, and together we have worked toward these goals.
The brand brought us together when I “liked” one of the photos from the brand’s Instagram account, which at the time consisted of six blurry cellphone pictures of the snapbacks. Following my “like,” I was contacted by Akawui who asked me to come to Montreal and model for the line. The rest is history. The following year, I moved to Montreal and we started a family. Our son joined us in the Fall of 2016.
Today we run the brand together; travelling to weekend pow wows to make connections and sell our gear, taking international trips to source materials and meet with Indigenous weavers and artisans, designing, and supporting community projects.
All of these things mesh well with our own interests and projects as we are a family of artists of various mediums. Having recently completed grad school, I enjoy researching, writing and have a passion for the arts. I am a painter but my current inspiration is traditional Anishinaabe crafts. My Ojibwe culture is very important to me and I love making traditional native crafts in my spare time. Blending business with pleasure, I have recently started a small business making moccasins for sale.
Akawui is a singer-songwriter of Chilean Mapuche background. His sound is reflective of his desire to bring Indigenous traditions into the mainstream with the innovative blending of styles. He merges many multicultural musical genres, including; Cumbia, Reggeaton, Afro- Brazilian, and Indigenous music along with the contemporary sounds of EDM and Hip-Hop.
Check him out here.
When he’s not creating, Akawui uses his skills as a former professional fighter to teach mixed martial arts to youth in Montreal. Creating space for youth to feel empowered through the arts is an important part of each of his projects.
Creating positive change in Indigenous communities is something we hold near and dear. See our Create Change page to see our current initiative in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala.
Together we enjoy building the brand that we feel expresses contemporary Indigenous realities and urban experiences. As new parents, we are enamored with our son. He travels with us on all of our journeys,as an integral part of our team- reminding us to that this is an initiative of love and hope for positive change. Moving forward we will share more about our lives as a young family of artists and entrepreneurs and our experiences in pursuing the goal of Indigenizing the world.