10 Native American clothing businesses to support

Captivating pieces of clothing, accessories and artwork

Photo+Courtesy+of+the+Eight+Generation+Facebook+Page+%40EighthGenerationbyLouieGong

Photo Courtesy of the Eight Generation Facebook Page @EighthGenerationbyLouieGong

By Amy Aguayo, Collegian Staff

November is National Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate native cultures and tribes around world. First declared in 1990, the month celebrates native cultures with ceremonies and traditions. Native cultures proudly embrace their roots through various forms of art, including the creation of clothing, jewelry artwork and pottery.

“There are 600 Native nations with unique language, culture, design aesthetics and creation stories. Whereas the purpose of Indigenous creators is to change the narrative in order to build power and have a seat at the broader American table,” said the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Native American fashion has been discredited, appropriated and stolen by companies like Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters, but its style is rooted in tradition.

It’s important consumers shop at native-owned business. Here are 10 to check out this month:

  1. NSRGNTS

Located in Los Angeles, NSRGNTS focuses on streetwear with a political and pop culture flare. Pieces bring up an important, educational conversation.

Check Out: MMIW/Water Protector Mural Hoodie

  1. Četáŋ Ská

Pronounced “chey-tahn ska,” the brand is designed by Dyani White Hawk, a Sičangu Lakota artist. These blankets and jewelry pieces are visually distinctive and traditionally designed with geometric patterns.

Check Out: ABOVE/BELOW

  1. Jamie Gentry Designs

Jamie Gentry focuses on hand-cut moose-hide moccasins. “I feel it is important to celebrate and the animals life rather than cutting out and disposing of scars,” Gentry said.

Check Out: Cork Moose Hide Pucker Toe Moccasins

  1. Cherokee Woman

Cherokee Woman is owned by Martha Robinson, a member of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation. Robinson creates traditional clothing, like decorated shawls, and accessories, like jewelry and pottery pieces.

Check Out: Traci Rabbit Designer Shawls

  1. Section 35

Section 35 was founded by Justin Louis and Andrew Kazakoff and named after Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution Act, which provides protection and rights to indigenous peoples in Canada. The streetwear company based in Vancouver, British Columbia sells clothing with political statements

Check Out: SECTION 35 – Champion® Men’s Reverse Weave® Paint Splatter Hoody

  1. SheNative

Owned by Devon Fiddler, who dedicates her Canadian brand to indigenous women, SheNative specializes in leather products, including makeup and medicine bags. According to Fiddler, “Medicines Bags are traditionally used by indigenous peoples to hold sacred spiritual objects, usually worn around the neck to keep close to one’s heart.” You can put anything in the small pouch from crystals to plants. All products are made and designed by indigenous women and their communities

Check Out: Beaded Fringe Medicine Bag

  1. Etkie

Etkie is a New Mexico-based company owned by members of the Navajo tribe. The company is dedicated to women and artisans who used traditional techniques and patterns to make these statement pieces. Bracelets are made with a traditional loom used by the Navajo tribe.

Check Out: Bramble Glass Cuff Small

  1. Salish Style

Women and Native-based company from the ancestral Coast Salish Territory of the spuyaləpabš (Puyallup) in Washington. These streetwear pieces were designed and created by different tribal members throughout the entire territory.

Check Out: Whorl of Time by Dylan Thomas

  1. Eighth Generation

Eighth Generation was founded by Louis Gong, who is known for merging traditional Coast Salish art into pieces of identity. The business is owned and operated by the Snoqualmie Tribe in Washington. All art is designed by the tribe and spreads the message of the economic impacts of cultural appropriation.

Check Out: Balance Silk Scarf

  1.  ACONAV

ACONAV’s designs, traditions and ideas are brought to life with a modern twist. The company believes in positive change and breaking self-imposed limitations.

Check Out: Storm Canvas Tote – Black, Orange, & White

Amy Aguayo can be reached at [email protected].