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Good Gear Auction: Inclusivity in the Mountains

The Good Gear Auction was created to create more equity and diversity in the snow sports community. This guest blog was written by Alex Armstrong.  

As a skier, when you look around the ski hills, trailhead parking lots and backcountry huts, sometimes who’s not there is as obvious as who is. It doesn’t take more than a day in any of the aforementioned venues to realize there is an extreme lack of visibility of BIPOC folks within our outdoor and particularly snowsports community. It requires a great deal of privilege to access the winter sports industry. Not all are fortunate to have the means or a safe space to explore the outdoors on their own terms; indigenous and black people disportionately so. 

Gear is a major contributor to the barrier of entry that exists in the snow sports world. With Good Gear Auction, founder and professional skier, Alex Armstrong, has flipped the script and used the gear that was a barrier to become a gateway. Through community sourcing and reaching out to brands, Good Gear Auction has sourced over 90 pieces of gear (and counting as donations are open until September 25) that will be auctioned off on their Instagram account September 27 and October 4. The best part is by using the free instagram platform and keeping their overhead at $0, 100% of the proceeds will be going to Colour the Trails and Indigenous Women Outdoors, the two organizations the auction is in support of. Colour the Trails and Indigenous Women Outdoors are two organizations based out of Vancouver and Squamish, British Columbia, that create space and low-barrier opportunities for the BIPOC community to access the outdoors. Though they have the same aim both organizations have their own story. 

skier: Judith Kasiama | pc: @neverbadtimeforchanges

Colour the Trails was started three years ago by Judy Kasiama. Judy started getting people into hiking, but it quickly expanded to other sports such as skiing, mountain biking and newly, climbing and canyoneering. Part of the Colour the Trails programming relies on support from the outdoor community in order to keep the costs down. Such as sourcing trucks and drivers from some of their activities or having open events where white, black and indigenous people  of color are welcome. This creates real connections based on the love of the sport regardless of the colour of your skin.

Good Gear Indigenous

Mya Antone | pc: @kymare_studio

Indigenous Women Outdoors (IWO) is just in its beginning stages as an organization. Myia Antone of the skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) first nation and founder of IWO has been working tirelessly getting this program together alongside reinvigorating her traditional language. After graduating from UBC with a degree in Environment and Sustainability, Myia took the Squamish Language Certificate Program offered through SFU and began learning her language and is now a learner and teacher of it. IWO started from a gap in the outdoor industry she acknowledged and recognized being that there’s simply more barriers for indigenous women and youth to access the outdoors. Due to Covid, IWO lost grant funding for their programming. Through crowdsourcing as well as Good Gear Auction, IWO will have programming this winter. 

Indigenous women outdoors

Myia Antone | pc: @kymare_studio

So What Can You Do?

  1. Check out @good.gear.auction for more information about how you can donate (if Canada) or buy our Good Gear (U.S. and Canada)
  2. Click the follow button on @colourthetrails and @indigwomenoutdoors
  3. Read some articles about the BIPOC community and their relationships, experiences and hopes for how the outdoor community should look
  4. Show up to events that are open to the public and indigenous and black led
  5. Be nice to everyone

 

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