Haida Owned and Operated Graduate
Indigenous ACE graduate Patrick Shannon, also known as Nang K‘uulas, is shaping future Indigenous generations in communities across Canada. Shannon is an Indigenous film director and an award-winning social entrepreneur and university instructor from Haida Gwaii, on the northwest coast of British Columbia. Inspired by his cultural upbringing he uses technology and media to empower Canadians to address social and cultural issues within Canada’s Indigenous communities. Following Shannon’s completion of the I-ACE program, the young entrepreneur amassed years of experience working within the Vancouver film industry and has since shifted his focus to the operation of a multimedia creative studio based out of Haida Gwaii. Shannon is a prolific storyteller in everything he does and is passionate about discovering new ways to strengthen his culture. With his creative studio, InnoNative, he shares his stories through film and media, specializing in short film, documentaries, music videos, promotional videos and online content for communities, businesses and artists across British Columbia and Canada. Shannon’s determination to make an impact on the Indigenous community has led to great success as a social entrepreneur, and the influence does not stop at InnoNative. Shannon has collaborated with Joleen Mitton on a recent revolutionary venture.
Shannon and his co-founder Mitton have recently been recognized on multiple, well-known platforms for their new venture ‘Supernaturals,’ Canada’s first ever Indigenous boutique modelling agency. The agency is based in Vancouver, British Columbia and will focus on high-end Indigenous cultural representation in both the commercial and fashion worlds. Launched in May 2021, Supernaturals Modelling will work toward supporting Indigenous models at the highest level across Canada and in the global market.
The empowering company has gained traction on various platforms, including a feature in Vogue, where the article shares the impact and significance of Supernaturals. “There’s so little representation [for Indigenous models], and they’re often taken advantage of,” says Shannon. “Traditionally, it has been a very hostile industry for Indigenous Peoples. We're trying to set protocols of how to work with Indigenous models, and to make sure things are being done in a healthy, respectful way” (Vogue, 2021). Shannon further shares on Global BC News that their goal for Supernaturals going forward is “that [they] want to move past tokenism.” In other words, Shannon and Mitton want to change the way Indigenous Peoples are perceived in the media and show that they are “just like everyone else” (Global BC News, 2021).
Shannon shares that modelling is a challenging industry to get into, and Supernaturals will provide Indigenous Peoples with an avenue to enter the industry. Starting on the west coast of British Columbia, Shannon and his co-founder have future plans to expand their reach across the country. Proper representation of Indigenous Peoples in the media is long overdue, and Supernaturals will offer people an “opportunity to be a part of a healthy reconciliation within the media, fashion, and modelling industries” (Daily Hive, 2021). Recently signed model Talaysay Campo shares in a press release that the best part of the agency is getting to work with her people. “We are a family [and] I’m looking forward to showing the world my culture and where I come from because not a lot of Indigenous models are represented in the media and that needs to change” claims the young model (Daily Hive, 2021). Fostering a safe environment for the models is imperative for Supernaturals, and many of the models have already felt unwavering support from the agency. Going forward, the Indigenous agency hopes to work with other Indigenous-owned brands in Canada in order to further foster their culture.
Learn more about Patrick Shannon and Supernaturals below: