Exchanging words with Binasii Inc.

Michelle Klippenstein, Manager of Binasii Inc.

Preserving culture and language is an important part of what makes Winnipeg a melting pot of different cultures. Binasii Inc. made it their main focus to preserve the First Nations language by working with indigenous communities. They’re doing that and so much more at their new Exchange District office at 314-63 Albert Street.

Binasii is a First Nations owned and operated company that focuses on communications, creative and digital branding. They work with Indigenous communities from elders to youth and mainly language speakers.

“We have developed our work ethic to promote a holistic approach to maintaining cultural sensitivities as well as First Nations principles and practices into modern technologies,” says Michelle Klippenstein, manager of Binasii.

Preserving local indigenous dialects is an important goal for Binasii. From that vision, they created tools to help facilitate language learners, like dictionary apps with accompanying audio pronunciation for each word and phrase.

“Once we had languages digitally transcribed, we began to expand them into further learning products such as educational games apps. This provided for fun, interactive ways to learn and retain the language,” Klippenstein says.

Binasii started off with their main focus on preserving languages but quickly realized there was a need to collect and communicate the story of the communities themselves. So, they started expanding to do more work with marketing and branding. They brought on new staff and expanded services to aid in collecting and dispersing community information to members, investors, and visitors.

“For some it was modernizing logos, updating print materials, whereas others it was full re-brands and new responsive websites. I am happy to say today we offer brand consulting and managing, print design, web and app development, search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising services,” Klippenstein says.

Although Binasii is skilled in First Nations consulting, their services are available for any business or community.

When deciding on a location for her company, Klippenstein says choosing the Exchange District was an easy choice.

“It’s really inspiring to be around so many independent local businesses,” she said. “It’s a great showcase for unique collaborations or different approaches and concepts.”

Klippenstein says they wanted to be in an environment where they would be challenged and forced to use their skills to be constantly creating and making new things.

“Our location in the Exchange District surrounds us with entrepreneurs, designers, architects, artists and the products and experiences they are creating daily,” she explains. “Every heritage building, every painting hanging in the window, and every event at Old Market Square inspires us and reminds us of our ability to create.”

Because of the volume of design and development agencies, a lot of meetups for user experience design or UX design and virtual reality (VR) take place in the area as well.

“You can go to First Fridays or hit up a movie at Cinematheque after work,” she said. “It’s a charming area, full of heritage buildings. There’s always something going on, and it’s really fulfilling to be a part of that.”

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