Creative Equity Roadmap

Everyone Belongs in Tech: How a childhood love of cartoons turned into a career passion

Harley Knife is a Senior Animator at Yeti Farm, a Kelowna-based animation studio providing animation services and creating original content for broadcast and digital platforms. Harley was born in Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in Saskatchewan’s Treaty 6 territory into a large family with seven siblings. As a child, Harley moved around a lot and bounced around between foster homes. Although many things in his life were unstable, he found stability, consistency, and comfort in watching cartoons. Years later, when a teacher started a 2d animation class, Harley first learned that making cartoons could be a job. Growing up, he didn’t know anyone working in tech, so this was a defining moment, discovering that with education, training and hard work, his love for cartoons could translate into a career. Harley moved away from home to apply for digital arts schools and he was accepted into the Centre for Arts and Technology in Kelowna where he enrolled in an animation program. During his time in the program, Harley suffered several challenges, setbacks and the tragic deaths of a brother and sister, but with an intense focus on his career goals, he kept pushing forward, determined to graduate. Harley has been working with Yeti Farm for six years, where he has continued to learn and grow and build his skills as an animator. “There have been some challenges and growing pains while learning my passion, which has helped me gain the confidence to expose myself a bit more, to inspire my indigenous community and to show that you deserve more out of this thing we call life.”

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