By Cheryle Maracle
- ABOUT US -
Kanyen’kehá:ka onkwá:wenk, Kenhtè:ke tyonkwanónhsote
We are a Mohawk-owned company on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
My name is Cheryle (Tyononhra) Maracle.
I sit under the protection of the Bear Clan. I was raised in Mohawk Valley, and moved to Tyendinaga when I was 14.
I have done this kind of work my whole life with my father and family.
My father, Randy, taught his children and grandchildren the importance to build a reciprocal relationship as caretakers of the land. His grandchildren live his legacy every day, as business owners of sustainable land-based businesses.
It’s an honour to do this work. I am humbled every day.
Kenh wakyo’tátye tahinonhwerá:ton’ ne rake’ni’kénha
I do this work in memory of my dad.
My dad worked for the band when MBQ owned the Hats for Hides program. In 2004, when he took it over, he bought up the leather and started his own Hats for Hides Depot.
My dad was raised by his grandparents. They taught him to provide for his family through the land – teaching him to tan hide, fish, hunt, farm, and harvest medicines. We come from the land. This lifestyle means we believe everything we need in this life is provided by the land; she is our Mother. They said to him, “You need to hang on to these traditions because it will always carry you through.”
We continue this work today.
Randy Brant, founder of Randy's Leathers
This is five generations of knowledge that we work with every day - and this comes from the ancient knowledge systems of our ancestors, the Haudenosaunee.
Hats for Hides
I am in this business because I am an animal activist.
We are a Hats for Hides collection depot.
The Hats for Hides program is over 50 years old. The program encourages hunters to repurpose their hides, not just throw them in the bush. The intent of the program is sustainability. The hunters will bring us their hide. We flesh the hide, salt it down, and get the hide ready to ship to the tannery for chrome tanning.
Hats for Hides means that hunters receive an orange hat and crest in exchange for the hide.
The hat and crest serve as a token of that year's successful hunt.
Through this program, all parts of the animals are repurposed. We see this process as a coming full circle for the animal – each animal is respected.
It is an act of reciprocity – reciprocity with all living beings.