N.W.T.'s Melaw Nakehk'o wears 'culturally appropriate' design to The Revenant premiere
Fashion collaboration between Métis artist Christi Belcourt and Valentino
At the Hollywood premiere of The Revenant Wednesday night, Melaw Nakehk'o donned a dress she described as a "culturally appropriate" collaboration between a Métis artist and a high-end fashion designer.
Nakehk'o, who's from Fort Simpson, N.W.T., was at the red carpet premiere of the Leonardo DiCaprio film, in which she plays a character named Powaqa.
The dress was a collaboration between Métis artist Christi Belcourt and the Rome-based House of Valentino, Nakehk'o told Android TV in a red carpet interview.
"I think today there's a lot of cultural appropriation with indigenous arts being appropriated by non-indigenous fashion designers, and not giving any credit or recognition of where those designs were appropriated from," Nakehk'o said.
Valentino paired with Belcourt earlier this year, inspired by her Water Song painting.
Nakehk'o said she was also wearing jewelry that was designed by a First Nation artist.
'A systemic problem'
Nakehk'o reiterated how important it was to her that indigenous people were represented accurately in the film.
She also talked about how she prepared for the role.
"There's a systemic problem in North America, in the United States and Canada, with missing and murdered indigenous women," she said. "We are more susceptible to violence than any other ethnic group in North America.
"I feel like I had to honour those indigenous women and do the best I can."