I have been a long-time admirer of SheNative and founder, Devon Fiddler. I became aware of this local company several years ago when I got the opportunity to model for them and to interview Devon for a Saskatoon fashion article. Since then, I have proudly watched this company grow and blossom as their goals have been defined and achieved. I had the opportunity to meet with Devon and Tori-Lynn this summer and talk about SheNative, their new store location, and their dreams for the future.
SheNative is created by Indigenous women, to instill inner strength and confidence in all women. Their wisdom comes from Indigenous Nationhood teachings, positive values, and a plethora of other sources. Their designs are mainstream and modern, while retaining traditional influences in the designs. The designs are only one important aspect of their clothing; they highly value human rights and ensure that their clothing is ethically produced. When I walked into their new store location (714A 2nd Ave N, Saskatoon) I was given a warm welcome and I was immediately drawn to their Red Purse Collection. They have beautifully created leather handbags, stunning beaded jewelry, and uplifting & inspiring apparel. All of these amazing pieces available at SheNative are designed and manufactured by Indigenous women. My favourite part of the store was the workspace where the sewing machines are set up. They are openly visible to the customer. Devon and the whole SheNative team inspire other Indigenous individuals and myself to embrace our creativity.
This brand is Indigenous because the creators are Indigenous. They live by their culture and that helps them to build this brand. However, their brand is for everyone. They want to showcase inclusivity, while providing a brand that can be supported by all who love their ideals. They are female Indigenous creatives that want to infuse strength, confidence, and the teachings from their nations to all diverse nations. I am delighted to support such an incredible company as I am passionate about supporting them and their message, goals, and teachings.
The women behind SheNative are always creating new designs, however they are moving away from synthetic materials that perpetuate fast fashion. They are passionate about supporting natural fabrics that are not contributing to pollution. Personally, I am thrilled to hear this and I am so excited for what is to come! These women are so devoted to their projects and that was very apparent when I spent time with them. During this photoshoot, I was introduced to Tenille Campbell, who was the photographer. Through talking with her, I learnt that she is also currently a PhD student, an author, blogger, and she knows what she wants! Thank you Tenille for these amazing photographs! These women were so encouraging and entertaining to be around – I am honoured that they invited me to be a part of their day and to be included in their photoshoot.
SheNative created their Red Purse Collection as a way of giving back to the community, to honour and raise awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMAWG) in Canada. I am passionate about supporting other women, however just as important is supporting reconciliation and admitting that perpetuated racism, sexism & inequality still negatively impact Indigenous women today. Before I convocated from the University of Saskatchewan, I remember walking through the bowl one afternoon and seeing a multitude of red dresses hanging from the trees, symbolizing missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. That image stuck with me and when SheNative launched their Red Purse Collection, I knew I would buy a red purse – not only as a conversation piece educate others but also as a way to support both SheNative and charities that provide support services for Indigenous women fleeing domestic violence or for programming intended to empower Indigenous women and girls. Although I myself am not Indigenous, supporting Indigenous people is very important to me, which is why I wear this brand.
SheNative is a company that is full of authentic Indigenous women who have incredible inner strength, compassion, motivation and resilience. I am proud to stand beside these women and promote this incredible brand.