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How one Anishinaabe entrepreneur aims to Indigenize fashion retail – The Toronto Star

Chelsee-Marie Pettit’s fashion boutique, aaniin, in Toronto’s Stackt Market sells merchandise from over 20 Indigenous clothing lines.

Nov. 25, 2022

Growing up in southwestern Ontario away from her Anishinaabe people, Chelsee-Marie Pettit never saw Indigenous syllabics outside of museums and history books.

But one day while walking in Toronto, she saw what she thought were syllabics — a writing system designed to transcribe many Indigenous languages across Canada — on someone’s shirt.

“I was so excited,” she says of the brief encounter on a downtown street. But, as the person got closer “and they walked past me, I realized it was just a triangle.”

Still, that experience proved to be profound for Pettit as it inspired her to create aaniin, a streetwear brand featuring syllabics, in 2021, and to eventually launch a fashion boutique selling merchandise from over 20 other Indigenous clothing lines.

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