Paisley Nahanee, Right Relations Director

Paisley Eva Nahanee is from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation village of Eslha7an. She was raised by a family of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Matriachs that for generations have been pioneers of feminism, social justice, and racial equity. They inspired her and taught her to how to advocate for these things at an early age.

In 2017, Paisley started Dame Music Society a non-profit that trains female identifying and gender non-conforming folxs with an emphasis on BIPOC, how to DJ in Vancouver to combat a white male dominated industry. Beyond Dame, Paisley spends time doing outreach in her own communities, doing DJ workshops for Indigenous youth in a hope that they can see themselves not only as a DJ but able to participate in the mainstream in any career path they want.

Her approach to social change is always based in indigeneity and cultural teachings. It’s about sharing knowledge and stories to grow as a society. She does a lot of work in the BC music industry on a grassroots level as well as working with Creative BC and the City of Vancouver to decolonize and diversify. She practices calling in organizations, instead of calling out to include Indigenous people and ideologies in a post-colonial, post-capitalist society.

She’s so excited to be working with Next Up as their Rights Relations Officer and take her background in the music sector and apply it to the non-profit sector. Her joy in this work has always come from seeing actual shifts and decolonizing happen from the work that she does, but also from how much she grows and what she learns from each organization she works with.

Paisley’s passions outside of decolonizing and DJing are spending time with her very large and loud family, thinking about what the next song she’s going to sing at karaoke is, cooking for her friends and learning how to play the drums.