Otahpiaaki 2017: Indigenous Beauty, Fashion & Design Week

Otahpiaaki is a gesture and expression of reconciliation inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the 94 Calls to Action to advance the process of reconciliation and redress the legacy of residential schools.

All are invited to engage with diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis creative champions whose work is inspired by ancestors, traditions, language, land, and culture. Their talents, creativity, and traditional knowledge blend with contemporary practice in highly engaging fashion, street wear, digital works, film, and animation projects.

All events and workshops for Otahpiaaki Fashion Week take place September 18th - Sepember 23rd. On three separate nights, we will be featuring three unique and exciting showcases; a Truth-themed showcase, a Youth-themed showcase, and a Reconciliation-themed showcase. Showcases include film, music, and fashion. Workshops run throughout the week between 9:00am-9:00pm.


This years showcase will offer:

  • Performances from some of our regions most inluencial Indigenous artists
  • Creative projects and workshops for youth and community. These will be led by artists, designers, and entrepreneurs
  • Fashion showcases; Truth Night, Youth Night, and Reconciliation Night.
    15 nations represented by 3 runways.

  • Youth and Community Programs
    (September 18-23)

    Engage in extraordinary sessions hosted by Otahpiaaki First Nations and Métis Nation creative champions. Learn protocols and the rich teachings behind the projects that our designers and artists plan to present. From beadwork meditations to the community Michif Moss Bags, there's something for everyone.

    Otahpiaaki provides an excellent opportunity for students and youth to build self esteem, engage in co-curricular learning, think about their futures as creative entrepreneurs, and develop new creative skills.

    Truth, Youth & Reconciliation Themes
    (September 21-23)

    The Truth Fashion Showcase strives to disrupt, engage, educate, and motivate participants to learn and do. We know the truth is challenging, believe it is essential, and that we can convey powerful truths through fashion and creativity that inspire commitment, action, impact and change.

    The Otahpiaaki Youth Fashion Showcase is dedicated to (re)connecting Indigenous culture and perspectives with Indigenous and non-indigenous youth in Treaty 7, the Calgary area, and beyond. The showcase will feature must have, accessible, high energy streetwear and signature style.

    Lastly, the Reconciliation Fashion Showcase will focus on couture, contemporary and avant-garde collections. Included is a collaborative concept for a Reconciliation gown or garment – the culmination of the fashion parade this night will be a fashion look designed to emphasize that the work of reconciliation is for neighbours, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. This night serves to move towards dialogue and healing, and finding pathways towards reconciliation through mutual respect and understanding.

    This end-of-week celebration includes a community feast and Round Dance.


    Featured In 2017