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Meet Mike Alexander. Mike is from Sean Lake First Nation, Manitoba but has lived in Kamloops for about a month. He is an introvert who enjoys bike riding and vinyl!
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kamloops?
I am originally from Swan Lake First Nation in Manitoba. I have lived in Kamloops for almost a month.
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My favorite person is my sweetheart Natika. She is supportive, understanding and adorable.
What is your favourite local store in Kamloops and why?
Describe yourself in one word.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
I’d head to Haida Gwaii because all reports suggest that it is a very special and beautiful place to be.
What is your favourite activity in Kamloops?
Riding up Pacific Way on my bike.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Missed a flight to Toronto because I thought I could stay up all night.
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
There have been a few, but most recently I completed my first Olympic distance Triathlon last summer in Victoria. It was truly one of the best things I have ever done.
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
Reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. It instilled profound values that have guided me through my life.
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
Currently, I volunteer for the Canadian Mental Health Association promoting and participating in their annual Ride Don’t Hide cycling event to help erase the stigma of talking about mental health.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
I would vaporize predatory capitalism from the planet.
Where would you sneak away to in Kamloops to spend some time alone?
The Thompson Nikola Regional Library seems like a nice quiet place. Am I allowed to bring a coffee with me? I’d sneak one in.
Where would you like to see positive change in Kamloops and why?
I’d like to see more Indigenous artists encouraged to pursue their dreams of working on art and to be able to do so on a full-time basis.
What do you think makes Kamloops great?
There is so much potential for an artist to develop their craft. I believe there are lots of opportunities for artists here.
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
1. Write a novel on the subject of murdered and missing Indigenous women.
2. Exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
3. Complete a 70.3 Half Triathlon.
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
DC > Marvel.
How do people connect with you, personally, through social media?
What is the name of your business/organization?
Why did you get into/start this business?
I wanted to share my Anishinaabe artistic designs with the world.
What is the goal of your business?
The goal of my business is to create art that reflects an Ojibway world view, to celebrate my unique cultural birthright and to empower Indigenous people to live their best lives.
What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
I have suffered from alcoholism and major depression for many years. I am glad to be 3.5 years sober as I continue to stay focused on the positive and to cope with life’s challenges.
What do you always find yourself saying?
Tell us your best piece of life advice.
Everything flows from a positive mental attitude.
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
It would be my son and daughter who both live in Winnipeg.
Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
People who start up their own business are brave and who have a passion for things that drive them. Thinking outside of the multinational corporation helps keep money in the community, and that is important.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Choosing sobriety and beginning to live fully at age 40.
Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Carey Newman is an Indigenous artist living on Vancouver Island. He is a master carver and recipient of the Order of BC. He has been a mentor to me. He deserves a shoutout for helping me to feel at home in BC.
My choice for the KamloopsBCNow In Focus spotlight is:
Natika Bock, project manager at Canadian Mental Health Association.
What is their e-mail address?
Some general comments I would like to share are:
I am fortunate to feel embraced by people in Kamloops. It’s a very nice place to live, train and create. I look forward to weaving myself and my art into the fabric of this place.
We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kamloops.
In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition of the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great!