Hustle vs. Bubble

I’ve seldom entered a situation knowing what I am going to get out of it.


When I visited Standing Rock, North Dakota in December 2016, I went to support the Sioux community and observe what unyielding strength looks like. I witnessed protesters hard at work preparing food in the kitchens, taking care of the fire, and on the front lines and realized if I’d come with one idea, one leaning, inclined to discover a single outcome—simply to see Indigenous peoples fight a pipeline—I would have missed the real teachings of my visit.

That experience led me to see that if we only wait for moments where there is controversy or a fight to be had, we will miss the opportunity to make change. The challenge is to notice and listen to the lessons; however, when we go as hard and as fast as we can (which we love to do), we miss a lot of stuff. I find myself, more often than not, in the “hustle” space— a place not conducive to standing still. Or listening.

From the beginning, I have flung myself into my work at Naheyawin because I was never sure I was doing the right thing. It felt like if I was moving fast enough, I would get to where I was going. But that isn’t true. The societal pressure to stay in motion lends not only to anxiety when we come to a stop, but raises the question, who are we without our work?  

In our ancestral stories, Indigenous Peoples had an eight-hour work week. The rest of the time was spent exercising who they were as people—engaging in art, exploring the environment, playing games, telling stories and raising children.

With automation and artificial intelligence positioned to become part of our everyday lives in the near future, we are well on our way to a fourth industrial revolution—one where there is less hustle because there will be fewer jobs. It gets me thinking that a whole life’s work could quickly become obsolete if we don’t stop to take notice.

This is where entering the “bubble” instead of “hustle” space could be much more fruitful.

In the “bubble”, we find what is useful in the mess ups, and give ourselves room to move around—up, down, sideways, or in circles—to discover all there is to glean from an experience, idea or concept before moving on. That bubble led to the birth of Tatawaw. This initiative may have been lost on us as a team if we had kept moving full steam ahead with the work that originally defined Naheyawin.

  An early Tatawaw seal concept, shown at the Tatawaw launch event.

An early Tatawaw seal concept, shown at the Tatawaw launch event.

The bubble also allows me to loosen my grip on an idea, have trust in my future self and access what a day of hustle does not provide—a deeper reason and meaning for the work I am doing.

In observing the protests at Standing Rock, I saw people come together to fiercely protect their water supply and wildlife from potential irreparable damage, but I also witnessed the Sioux Nation invite others to see and take up their cause, and as a result, nurture their allies.

Gaining New Perspectives: The Indigenous Canada Experience

By Emma Schreiner Vonk

I like to think that I am a fairly smart, educated cat. However, there have been many times in my life where that idea has been completely smashed to pieces. Math was easy for me until trigonometry in grade 12 (I loved trig up until then). I came into university perhaps a little cocky carrying my honours from high school and learned that I was utterly average. I think I am well-read and knowledgeable on current events until the discussion changes at the table and I contribute little, if anything, to the conversation. I thought I was a step ahead of the game starting at Naheyawin with my knowledge of Indigenous culture and history.

“Yeah, okay little girl,” said University of Alberta when I started taking their Indigenous Canada course.

Social Technologies and Why Being a Computer Nerd is Overrated

Growing up, I was always someone who gravitated towards technology.

Hardware and software fascinated me and captured my imagination about what the future could look like. In fact, my very first memories are of being in front of my parents’ Mac 2, clicking around on Paint and playing Snoopy to the Rescue.

Job growth in the technology industry is high and promising (Time Magazine believed that demand in goods and services would triple, which I think we have observed), and the culture is (mostly) interested in the importance of pursuing meaningful work. It’s a very exciting time to be alive.

The Key to Building Your Audience on Social Media

I’ll be the first to admit that social media isn’t easy. Building a community and gaining followers doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes work, lots of it. Whether you’re a startup company, established business or blossoming blogger, there’s more to it than just posting pretty pictures and having the odd conversation with a follower.

Here at Naheyawin, we are encouraged to be curious and take any opportunity that we can to learn something new. We’ve taken this value of curiosity and implemented it into many of our daily office practices, including how we run our social media channels and work towards building a more engaged audience.

The Importance of Having Integrity in Business

By Emma Schreiner Vonk

In Hunter’s most recent blog post, he talked about the winter solstice being a time of reflection. The holidays and the new year are a great time to make resolutions (which I’m sure is a popular blog topic at this time of year, but bear with me). I’m not here to talk about new changes - today, I’m here to talk about staying true to the decisions you have made as a business, to upholding the values you set out with your mission and vision, and sustaining your integrity.

What is integrity? Integrity, according to Urban Dictionary, is “doing the right thing even when no one is looking.” My Dad once told me that all we have in this world is our dignity and our integrity. I think I was 15 at the time, so there was probably an eye-roll, like so.

Digital Marketing in the Era of Instant Gratification

By Keltyn Marshall

I think we’re all aware of how the technological era has impacted our lives for better and for worse.

As a 90s kid I had the opportunity to grow up relatively tech free. As a 10 year old, I played the occasional game of Minesweeper on my HP Pavilion 5000, and in Junior High had the joy of chatting on AIM and MSN after school with my  friends (who else misses those days?). I got my first cell phone at 11, but was only allowed to use it for emergencies. I sent my first text ever on Valentine’s Day when I was 13. So, yes, technology was present in my life, but it certainly wasn't at prevalent as it is now.

Now, there is the satisfaction of instant gratification when it comes to technology. Hungry and want a poutine? Order from Skip the Dishes. Need a ride to a friend’s house? Get an Uber. Looking for a party date? Swipe through Tinder. Bored? Text every friend in your address book and see who responds first.

What Makes a Good Story?

By Hunter Cardinal

Hello, folks. It’s Hunter, Director of Story, here to talk to you about the best stories. My role just took a very literal turn. Say what?

December is when we enter the winter solstice and can now see the constellation ‘Wesakaychak.’ It’s also a time where we withdraw indoors and take a few moments to reflect on ourselves, the year, and tell stories. Traditionally told to youth, storytelling is a way to connect us to our place and each other. As Dr. Joe Couture - a pivotal figure in Indigenous activism, scholarship, and leadership - writes, ”It is through repeated Elder teaching that one comes to sense the wisdom of the Indian Way."

Storytelling has always been a big part of everyday life.

Refresh, Reflect, Recharge: The New Three R’s in Business

With the holidays coming up, there are a few thoughts at the forefront of people’s minds: meal planning, travelling on snowy roads, buying gifts, and the fabled idea of time off from work. Whether it be two days or two weeks, many look forward to having those extra few days away from work to be with family and friends.

However, time off seems to only be used during the holidays. Unless it is a stat holiday, people would rather they didn’t take time off. has been able to come out with a “Vacation Deprivation” survey, showing that Canada has a hard time taking time off, coming in at 10 million unused vacation days in 2015. This year will be their 16th year of holding this survey. 16 years of data that all point to three words: take your vacation.

Life's a Batch! How to Batch and Schedule Content for Ease

I will undoubtedly admit that digital content creation is vastly time consuming. Whether you have one client or ten, coming up with the ideas, creating, designing, writing, and publishing the content can be completely overwhelming.

Before I started at Naheyawin, I was working part time for a boutique communications and public relations agency as well as freelancing as a social media manager. Social media and digital content creation had become my blood, sweat, and tears but because I didn’t take the time to come up with a scheduling process I began to fall behind, which caused a spiral of reactive events.

Zero To Hero: 5 Ways to Effectively Use Digital Marketing to Elevate your Business's Online Presence

Hey everyone! I’m Keltyn, the Marketing Coordinator here at Naheyawin, coming at you with my first blog post for our site!

Earlier this month, Hunter wrote about Indigenous Astronomy and how Indigenous teachings can be transitioned to future generations. I’m taking inspiration from Hunter and keeping on the theme of transition by talking to you a bit about transitioning your run-of-the-mill digital marketing efforts into a rock solid, lead generating tool.