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National Native American Heritage Month: Spotlight on Native Businesses

 

Every November since 1990, the United States celebrates Native American Heritage Month. The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to learn about and remember the important accomplishments and contributions that the first people to live here have made to the United States. It’s a month for supporting and celebrating Native Americans. Less importantly, it’s the month before the winter holiday season.

 

We want to bring the two together by rounding up a bunch of great Native American businesses offering a wide variety of gift choices for all of your loved ones. Now, all you have to do is choose the lucky recipient, and try not to buy them all for yourself!

Alana Edzerza

Alano Edzerza is a Tahltan multimedia artist and entrepreneur based in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Most famous for designing the outerwear for the Dutch Olympic team in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Edzerza has gone on to bring his unique style to a wide range of goods, from backpacks to laptop cases, sneakers to hoodies - he even has a section on his website to help you get your pet kitted out as the most fashionable in your building.

Bedré Fine Chocolate

Chocolate was originally cultivated by the indigenous people of Central America before being exported to Europe in the 16th century. Crafting chocolates in Oklahoma, the Chickasaw Nation is the only Native American tribe to manufacture chocolates. Whether you’re buying as a gift or just stocking up for the holidays, Bedré Fine Chocolate offers a huge variety. With premade gift sets, or enough variety to create your own chocolate hamper, they have something for every taste.

Birchbark Native Arts

An independent bookstore in Minneapolis, Birchbark Books offers a wide variety of items perfect for gifting or even keeping for yourself. Shop their store for one of a kind Native jewelry,  baskets, Native Harvest goods, art, sweetgrass, sage, sweetgrass soaps and lotions, general fiction, specialized Native titles, and more. Their online store boasts a huge selection of books by and about Native Americans as well as a bunch of books chosen by the staff and their dogs! Their sister store Birchbark Native Arts sports a wonderful selection of jewelry, art prints, greeting cards, bags, and more.

Ginew

Ginew is the only Native American owned line of denim clothing. Owned and operated by husband and wife, Erik and Amanda, they call their fashion “Native-Americana”, and pride themselves on fusing Native American and enduring styles. Ginew incorporates family symbols and teachings into their statement pieces, and creates them from high-quality American made materials. From hats and bandanas to their statement denim jackets, all the way through to jewelry, their classic designs mean there’s something for everyone.

Jamie Gentry Designs

Jamie is from the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation. Moving to Sooke, she sought out someone to teach her how to create traditional moccasins and now makes custom footwear for modern-day living. Her focus is on style, comfort, and durability with an emphasis on sustainability - she makes each pair by hand and to order, not even beginning until she knows who they’re going to be for. It can take up to six weeks for her to make them, so you might have to write out an I.O.U, but they’re so gorgeous that they’ll be well worth the wait.

Native American Tea Company

The Native American Tea Company was born in 1987, established by a family of Turtle Mountain Chippewa on the Crow Nation Reservation, and hasn’t stopped growing since. Each herbal tea was created with a Native American legend, story, or myth in mind. Each box of tea features gorgeous artwork designed for each unique tea. If you’re not sure what flavor tea to try, or you just want to try a bunch of different blends, opt for their mini sampler selection, featuring a box of each of six different teas.

Support Native Businesses Year-Round

November may nearly be over, but your support for members of the Native American community doesn’t have to be. Being able to celebrate talented creators whilst demonstrating support and giving great gifts? It’s a no brainer.