Two Eagles Grey by Alano Edzerza | Image source: www.edzerzagallery.com
This holiday season, instead of going to a generic department store to buy gifts for your loved ones, why don’t you purchase authentically made, handcrafted goods from one of the many Indigenous owned and operated shops online? Not only will you find anything from mukluks to original artwork or one-of-a-kind custom made jewellery, but you will be supporting the many First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists across Canada. MUSKRAT Magazine presents holiday gift ideas from Indigenous owned and operated businesses.
1. Carvings from Khot-La-Cha Art Gallery and Gift Shop
Khot-La-Cha Art Gallery features carvings made by First Nations artists from around the Vancouver amongst many other things. The gallery is located minutes from Lion’s Gate Bridge in North Vancouver. Here you can also find other gift ideas such as wooden masks, prints, and rare metal jewellery.
2. Contemporary Cuffs from Canard Blanc
These handcrafted cuffs are made from silver plated pipe beads, dyed bone spacers, leather lacing, and black deer hide available through online purchasing. Canard Blanc specializes in traditional and contemporary items made from natural materials such as leather, bone, horn, glass, and shell.
3. Cosy Moosehide Moccasins from Kitigan
Kitigan is a one-of-a-kind online Aboriginal art business that sells authentic, high quality, Aboriginal handcrafted goods, including moosehide moccasins. You can also find paintings, jewellery, stained glass, birch bark, stone carvings, and more. When you buy from them you will be supporting up and coming Aboriginal artists looking to build their market and promote their work.
4. Custom Made Jewellry by Blue Dawn Jewellery
Barb Nahwegahbow from Blue Dawn Jewellery creates one-of-a-kind, quality, distinctive pieces that you can wear out for an evening with friends or on the red carpet. She works with gemstones such as aquamarine, tourmaline, garnet and combines them with hand-made porcelain pieces, hand-felted beads, or sterling silver beads and chains.
5. Clothing Apparel from Edzerza Gallery
Well known multimedia artist and entrepreneur, Alano Edzerza has recently added clothing apparel to his online store. Not only will you find his original works, but also his apparel line which includes leggings, hoodies, t-shirts, tunics imprinted with North West Coast style Indigenous designs.
6. Moosehide Mukluks from Acho Dene Native Crafts
Mukluks have become a huge trend in 2015. Why not treat a loved one to mukluks created by a skilled Indigenous artist? Each pair is unique and quantities are limited due to the intensive labour process it takes to make them. Acho Dene Native Crafts also features other handcrafted products, specializing in birchbark and moosehide products.
7. MoonShot – The Indigenous Comics Collection Volume 1
For the comic book lover on your list, this first ever volume features 28 pieces of original work done by Indigenous writers and artists such as Buffy St.Marie. The comic book is full of traditional stories and new visions of the future which embrace the rich heritage and identity of Indigenous storytelling.
8. Original Woodland Style Art at Wah-Sa Gallery
The Wah-Sa Gallery features some of the finest authentic woodland style artwork for the art lover in your group of friends. The gallery was originally opened by renowned painter Daphne Odjig, one of the founding members of the Indigenous Group of Seven, in 1976.
9. Women’s and Men’s Parkas from Nunavik Creations
These authentic locally made parkas are lined with quilted powderfill and holofil linings to keep you warm in the coldest of temperatures. The parkas come with detachable fur trims, knit storm cuffs and a water resistant shell. There are also sealskin variations available to purchase as well. Nunavik Creations employs Inuit women from across the community in all roles within the company.