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WATCH — From the rez to the runway: Indigenous fashion is having a moment



Published 2024-06-11 06:05

Meet three Indigenous fashion leaders who say your clothes tell a story

Shoes? Check. 

Pants? Got ’em. 

Shirt? Yep. 

And we’re good to go.

Do you ever think about what your clothes say about you?

Fashion and how you use it to express yourself might be the furthest thing on your mind as you get dressed for the day.

A recent experience I had interviewing three Indigenous fashion leaders made me think about the clothes I wear.

They told me that clothes are a way to make a statement and express yourself every day.

They all said they want to use fashion to have conversations about what they believe in and who they are.

Meet the three fashion leaders

I sat down with:

  • Shayla Oulette Stonechild, a Plains Cree and Red River Métis model and content creator from Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation in Saskatchewan.
  • Justin Jacob Louis, a streetwear designer from Samson Cree Nation in Alberta.
  • Lesley Hampton, a high-fashion, Anishinaabe womenswear designer from Temagami First Nation in Northern Ontario.

They were all in Toronto, Ontario, from May 30 to June 2 for Indigenous Fashion Arts, a festival that highlights the work of Indigenous designers and fashion. 

Together we talked about how Indigenous fashion is in focus in Canada.

I even got to cover a runway event that you can read about here.

Treaty 13 territory (Toronto) was the backdrop for the interviews, where each person shared their unique story and inspirations about fashion. 

Want to know more about each guest I spoke to? 

Check out my video below to see fashion highlights and what each leader of Indigenous fashion wants to represent. 

Have more questions? Want to tell us how we’re doing? Use the “send us feedback” link below. ⬇️⬇️⬇️

TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Ken Townsend/CBC, George Pimentel, graphic design by Philip Street
VIDEO CREDITS: Host Sophia Smoke; senior producer Lisa Fender; creative producer Lenard Monkman; producer Angelica Cooper; intern Taylor O’Brien; editor Janna McGinn; videographer Ken Townsend; copy editor Janet Davison. 


About the Contributor

Sophia Smoke

Sophia Smoke

CBC Kids News Contributor

Sophia Smoke is a Grade 11 student from the Dakota Plains First Nation in Manitoba. Her Dakota name is Anpetu Waste Ihinape Win, ‘There Is a Good Day Coming.’ She is a jingle dress dancer and passionate about the revitalization of Indigenous culture.

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