Help support Indigenous businesses and take home some beautifully crafted jewelry while you’re at it. Here are a few Indigenous jewelry makers to check out around Toronto and southern Ontario. And this is just the tip of the iceberg at all the Indigenous businesses that are out there! For even more businesses to choose from, check out The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto.
Started by sisters, Teyotsihstokwáthe Dakota Brant and Yonenyà:kenht Jesse Brant in 2014, their company has expanded to an online store, a storefront business and wholesale service. They are a CCAB Certified Aboriginal Business and operate on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. The sisters specialize in gold, authentic wampum and sterling silver and use silversmithing and wampum cutting techniques that have been utilized by their ancestors for generations.
This family-owned business is operated by Patricia Cajas and her family. Cajas is from the Kichwa community of Peguche, located in the Andes of Northern Ecuador and her husband, Marcos Arcentales, is from Tkaronto. They offer not only handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry, but also clothing, accessories, textiles for the home, prints and artwork.
Owner Stephanie Peltier is from the Wiikwemikoong Unceded Territory community on Manitoulin Island. She specializes in handmade jewellery with intricate beadwork that uses both modern and traditional elements. Deliaestelle also sells beginner beadwork kits for customers to create their own beaded earring creations. Peltier has even created a custom necklace for Sophie Trudeau.
Based in Toronto, SunHeart Rises Designs is owned and operated by Indigenous artisan Trip Phoenix. Phoenix’s jewelry encompasses both contemporary and traditional designs made from natural materials such as horn, bone, leather, semi-precious stones and more.
Contemporary accessory designer Warren Steven Scott approaches his design work by picturing “a modern image of fashion through an Indigenous lens”. He is a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation, in present-day British Columbia, and currently lives in and completed his formal training in fashion in Toronto. His collections have been featured in Toronto’s Indigenous Fashion Week and are available both online and through stockists listed on his website.
What other companies should we add to our list? Leave us a comment on our social media for more!