ḿanesut [mah-nes-oot] noun, Haislakala, the language of the Haisla First Nation 1. a Haislakala word meaning brother.
Minay was created during a time in our lives when friendship meant everything to us. The relationships we fostered grounded us deep within our roots and cultivated an unfaltering ferocity in knowing who we are and where we come from as Haisla peoples.
To us, Minay represented a brotherhood, a lifeline, the last line of defense from anything that held us down.
Much like our transformation of the word ḿanesut into "minay,” we too transformed our conception of what Minay meant to us.
The term Minay has evolved to encompass a much larger meaning of kinship.
For us now, it represents togetherness. Solidarity. It represents not only brotherhood, but sisterhoods, and most importantly, a conception of family that is expansive, relentless and resilient.
WE ARE MINAY
Zazaxsmalis is a writer, rapper, photographer and spoken word artist of “The People of the Snow” that is the Haisla Nation. He takes pride in his work and is inspired by the strength and resilience the First Nations people have shown through the colonial take over, residential school abuse and the continued battle to keep their land pure. Through his writings, songs and imagery he is continually confronting issues that he feels have been silenced for too long amongst First ations communities and he simply isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. With his aggressive style of writing, his ability to cram a great deal of information into a short story, and the emotions he portrays when he recites a piece he describes his own emotional experience within these topics – overwhelming and unforgiving but clearly driven.
Darren Metz, formerly known by his stage name Young D, is a songwriter/rapper that was born and raised in (haisla) the People Of The Snow of British Columbia. Growing up, his household name would simply be known as "D." It wasn't a rare occasion where he'd be the youngest one out his group of minays that he grew up with, so the name Young D seemed suitable. Over the years, he drew inspiration from those that have helped him grow as an artist and an individual. With humble beginnings, he was quite the introvert and kept to himself when it came to his school and education. During that time, hip-hop began to have a much bigger impact that influenced him to start writing and telling his own story from his point of view. Whether that be the history of the First Nations people, to dealing with racism, to speaking about loved ones battling drug and alcohol addiction, he never hesitates to convey how he feels on any given track.