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November 2018


Indigenous Beauty, Fashion & Design Week

From November 5th - 10th, 2018 we are proud once again to welcome a host of Indigenous fashion designers, artists, musicians, and performers to  showcase and celebrate Indigenous Beauty in all of its forms. Otahpiaaki 2018 encompasses three nights of couture, streetwear, and modern regalia on the runway, workshops, performances, screenings, and language projects. Indigenous Beauty, Fashion, and Design week is anchored by deeper research on decolonizing the runway, design in nature, capacity-building, and economic reconciliation based on creative practices and traditional teachings. So'kapi!

Each year (see roadmap), Otahpiaaki hosts our Indigenous Beauty, Fashion and Design Week. The project is a gesture of reconciliation, inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and their 94 Calls to Action to advance the process of reconciliation and redress the legacy of residential schools. Otahpiaaki engages the principles of equality, partnership, good faith, and mutual respect as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


The Runway

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15 Nations
3 Runways

Otahpiaaki: Indigenous Beauty, Fashion, and Design Week, one of six Otahpiaaki projects, features some of our region’s most inspiring Indigenous artists, designers, and creatives. We believe that the work of reconciliation is for neighbours and that important conversations and teachings can be shared through creative and artistic practices.


Angel Aubichon-otahpiaaki
This is about Indigenous artists becoming economic leaders in Canadian Society. This is about Indigenous artists becoming their own and owning what’s theirs. This is about activism and reconciliation.
— Spirit River Striped Wolf (Piikani Nation)
  Featured:   Luxx Ready-to-Wear   Photo: Inner Sense Pictures

Featured: Luxx Ready-to-Wear
Photo: Inner Sense Pictures

  Featured: Brenda Lee Asp Photo: Marshall Dunnet Photography

Featured: Brenda Lee Asp
Photo: Marshall Dunnet Photography

  Featured: Jamie Medicine Crane   Earrings: Donna Peeteetuce Photo: Vian Esterhuizen

Featured: Jamie Medicine Crane Earrings: Donna Peeteetuce
Photo: Vian Esterhuizen

Watch for our on-going announcements of Designers, Artists, and Performers  throughout the spring and summer of 2018




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BLKFT (Siksika Nation) takes the lead on music direction for Otahpiaaki 2018. "Music has no skin colour, it doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t worry if your beliefs are the same as my beliefs. Music brings us together and helps us find connection. I think, I hope, and I wish that we’ll have a great show and believe that there are lots of ways during the week to find ways to reconcile." Check out Big Mix from What Will the Neighbours Think, recorded in April 2017 on CJSW 90.9 FM with Kendra Scanlon. 

JB THE FIRST LADY (Nuxalk & Onondaga Nations), rapper and activist, leads our Otahpiaaki live talent line-up for 2018. Check out her new track Still Here (2018) and her thoughts on the ongoing history of protest songs. 

JB the first lady






The Road Forward by Director Marie Clements (Métis) is an electrifying musical documentary that connects a pivotal moment in Canada’s civil rights history—the beginnings of Indian Nationalism in the 1930s—with the powerful momentum of First Nations activism today.

Interviews and musical sequences describe how a tiny movement, the Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood, grew to become a successful voice for change across the country. Visually stunning, The Road Forward seamlessly connects past and present through superbly produced story-songs with soaring vocals, blues, rock, and traditional beats.




Otahpiaaki workshops emphasize explorations of deep beauty with design champions and cultural workshop leaders and Elders. We also embrace  bold Nation-to-Nation exchange, talks on the topics of enhanced industrial design policy and law, and new routes to global markets.

We invite and strive to contribute to significant social, cultural, restorative, and economic reconciliation across reserves, communities, regions, and territories by promoting, protecting, and providing resources and capacity-building using our unique seed-to-runway model.

Check back for workshop announcements through spring and summer 2018.