Across Turtle Island, Native entrepreneurs have been creating some of the most unique and innovative businesses and products. From clothing and fashion wear to health and beauty products these inspired Natives are opening the door to economic development for tribal communities. LRInspire highlights several Native businesses we all need to be supporting.
Eighth Generation is a Native-owned and operated company based in Seattle, Washington. It was founded in 2008 when Louie Gong (Nooksack/Chinese/French/Scottish) — a Native artist, activist and educator widely known for merging traditional Coast Salish art with influences from his urban environment to make strong statements about identity — started customizing shoes in his living room. Now the first Native-owned company to ever produce wool blankets, Eighth Generation is a proud participant in the global economy with the mission of creating opportunities for community-based cultural artists who — like Louie a short 8 years ago — struggled to meet demands for handmade cultural art.
OxDx is a Native owned clothing line based out of Chandler, AZ, with creations depicting American Indian struggles, issues, and art. OxDx is strongly influenced by Native culture, street art, and music.
Ta·ton+ka’ Clothing is for the people. It is clothing of resistance. Our designs are created with certain educational, inspirational, and motivational motives in mind. This company was formed with newfound ideas and creative ambition to make an impact on yesterdays, today’s and tomorrows seven generations. Positive vibes and artistic networking is what we hope to achieve. TATANKA CLOTHING is original and imaginative always pushing innovative new concepts for the people with free thought. We advocate independent thinking beyond the schoolyards of brainwashing institutions and media controlled propaganda. Tatanka Means Buffalo in Lakota. The Buffalo were brought to the people as a gift from the creator. They put the buffalo to use as a major resource in everyday life. Tatanka provided Clothing, housing, food, art, and tools for the people. So now TATANKA CLOTHING is here to clothe the people with style once again.
NSRGNTS as nsrgnts we strive to produce products that can positively contribute to the collective heart and mind. Lets set the standards high so good things can be brought home, where-ever home may be. Take a stance! Create change, Build with love! Be all possibility!
Salish Style Northwest Coast Contemporary Native art wear by Native artists. Salish Style is a modern lifestyle brand that embodies the artistic spirit of Northwest Native American and First Nations design and culture. Based in Seattle, Coast Salish owned, we collaborate with artists throughout the Pacific Northwest from numerous Native American tribes and First Nations to create clothing inspired by our cultural heritages as well as contemporary culture, that stand out and share a story. Each of our nations maintain their own distinct art, language, and traditions, however we all share strong connections with the land, waters, and wildlife found in the Northwest region that we and our ancestors call home. We pride ourselves on making meaningful products that not only exemplify our lifestyle, but promote recognition, preservation, cultural appreciation and authenticity of Native art in a manner that is accessible for all.
The NTVS Who are we? Two Native American guys trying to fill a hole in the market that is missing the voice of the people. Our mission is to teach the youth the importance of embracing culture and history. We do that by creating designs that you can be proud to wear. A design that has a deeper meaning. Maybe it’s light hearted or even funny. Maybe it’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed. We use art and streetwear mixed with our culture to create one-of-a-kind designs. The NTVS was created because of our passion in the clothing and apparel Industry. Most of our designs have a story behind the design. A percentage of all proceeds goes to Native American charities.
B.YELLOWTAIL Founded in December 2014 and based in Los Angeles, B.Yellowtail is a fashion line created by designer Bethany Yellowtail, who’s vision and brand values reflect her Apsaalooke (Crow) & Tsetsehestahese & So’taeo’o (Northern Cheyenne) Native American heritage. A celebration of ancestral tradition, beauty, and culture, B.YELLOWTAIL embraces authentic, indigenous design through wearable art.
Hoka! Coffee Company the Hoka! Coffee Company is a Native American owned Coffee Company that was started on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 2013 and is now located in Rapid City, SD. Here at Hoka! Coffee Company we lived with two missions, one is to create a Coffee roasting company that will provide jobs and economic growth on the Pine Ridge Reservation and its community. Our second is to obtain as much of our fresh coffee beans from indigenous smallholder farms as possible who are in South and Central America and that are guaranteed fair working conditions and a fair share for their product. A large part of our vision when starting Hoka! Coffee Company was to provide a mechanism where people can learn about entrepreneurship and to make a small dent in the unemployment rate on the Pine Ridge Reservation. We imagine a day when people know Pine Ridge Reservation for something positive and say “Hey they make a great Hoka Coffee out there!” – Sharice Davids
Sister Sky products are inspired by nature and the wisdom of our Native American heritage. Sweet Grass, Cedar, Yarrow, Chamomile, Hibiscus, Willow Bark, Oregon Grape Root are some of the plants we infuse. Each plant has a purpose, a story and most importantly, a benefit for you. We share a bit of our culture’s herbal wisdom in every Sister Sky product we make. Our Mission: Create Natural Solutions from Native Roots. Our products are gentle and natural. Free of petro-chemicals and parabens. Never animal tested. Earth friendly packaging and USA Made. Our Vision: Promoting health, wellness and sustainability for ourselves, our communities and our planet by respectfully sharing authentic Native American herbal wisdom. -Marina & Monica, Company Founders
Native Threads products are the real thing. As one of Indian Country’s only Native-owned and operated clothing companies, Native Threads has been planting seeds and building a loyal family of customers throughout North America since 1990. Through grassroots efforts, such as powwows and direct sales, our seeds have taken root. Our designs are contemporary, yet the messages are very traditional, cultural, and conscious of the current social, political and economic trends that affect Native peoples. By combining these elements, our clothing helps give Native people clarity about who they are in this place and time. By providing constant reminders about our past, our products help bring to the surface
the pride we carry inside of us.
Native Harvest We work to continue, revive, and protect our native seeds, heritage crops, naturally grown fruits, animals, wild plants, traditions and knowledge of our indigenous and land-based communities; for the purpose of maintaining and continuing our culture and resisting the global, industrialized food system that can corrupt our health, freedom, and culture through inappropriate food production and genetic engineering.
Tanka Bar Native American Natural Foods, LLC, is focused on creating a family of nationally branded buffalo-based food products that are delicious and that promote a Native American way of wellness that feeds mind, body, and spirit. Beginning with its first product line, which features Tanka Bar, Tanka Bites, Tanka Dogs and Tanka Sticks, Native American Natural Foods provides a category of natural healthy choices in the marketplace that currently does not exist.
Urban Native Era A collective of youth striving to create a vision and a voice for the 7th generation of Native America. Our vision is to empower these voices so they may reclaim our traditional knowledge and identity in this rapidly changing world; simultaneously redefining what it means to be Indigenous and Free.
Beyond Buckskin launched in 2009 as a website dedicated to showcasing and promoting our continent’s first artists and original designers. The origin story of this boutique is rooted in positive activism and a desire to share our culture with the world through fashion design.
Trickster Company promotes innovative indigenous design. We focus on the Northwest Coast art and explore themes and issues in Native culture. We strive to represent a prestigious lineage of art in fresh and energetic ways as a celebration of Northwest Coast culture as it lives today.
Trickster Company was founded by Rico Lanáat’ Worl, a Tlingit/Athabascan formline designer. His work explores living with traditional values today. He also is an active advocate of diversity in community and works to promote diversity in civic engagement.
by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle – Lakota)