Aboriginal appropriation has been in the news for the past couple of years, and we have seen the follies from large retail chains, small boutiques and independent designers.
If you like the "native look" but have hesitated to purchase goods because you want to be sure you are supporting authentic indigenous artists and companies, this is your answer.
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Here are the top five online shops to purchase the work of authentic indigenous artists for your family, friends, or maybe even to spoil yourself this holiday season.
This e-commerce site for indigenous artisans has been dubbed the “Native Etsy.” It's a site where Indigenous sellers big and small can feature their goods from their own galleries or their galley kitchen offices. Here you'll discover beaded jewelry and unique handbags that you won’t find at your local mall.
The firm works with local aboriginal artists, invests in aboriginal education and employment, raises aboriginal community program awareness and helps to keep traditional arts alive with its StoryBoot program.
Oh, and did I mention that they also make fashionable and fun mukluks and moccasins? These make lovely gifts for men, women and the kids on your list.
From sunglasses and silver jewelry to spirit boots, this store has accessible artwork for every lifestyle.
This online shop was created by Alano Edzerza, a Tahltan multimedia artist, based out of Vancouver. He is a successful artist who made a lasting mark when he designed the outerwear for the Dutch Olympic team for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
But you need not be an Olympian to obtain his gear. His casual clothing emblazoned with Northwest Coast art is both contemporary and cool. There are pieces for men, women and children that will make hearts skip a beat this holiday season.
This U.S.-based site is a platform where emerging and established artists can bring their work to new audiences and demonstrate that native fashion and style are more than just a trend.
One of the Canadian artists featured is Jamie Gentry (Kwakwaka’wakw), who designs unique upcycled baby booties for her line, Love is Everything. Another Canadian artist on the site is Candace Halcro (Métis/Cree), who recently collaborated with Paul Frank. She specializes in sunglasses with a beaded band. Now that’s native chic!