10 Brands to Support This Native American Heritage Month (and Always)

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Since 1990, the United States has designated November as "National American Indian Heritage Month" to serve as a time for Americans to celebrate and learn more about Indigenous contributions and culture. While this is a worthy goal, it's important that we work to support Native communities all the time — not just for 30 days every year — especially considering the violence and systemic exploitation they have historically faced.

This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affecting Native populations, it's especially necessary to find ways to give back to Indigenous peoples. A great way to start — emphasis on the word ​start​, since there are many ways to be an ally — is by buying from Native creators and Indigenous-owned lifestyle and home goods businesses. We're including some of our favorites below.

Birchbark Books & Native Arts is a Native-owned, Minneapolis-based independent bookstore founded by novelist Louise Erdrich in 2001. "Minneapolis and St. Paul have one of the largest concentrations of urban Native people in the United States," explains the shop on its Our Story page. "Birchbark Books provides a locus for Native intellectual life. We are Native-owned (Louise Erdrich is an enrolled Turtle Mountain Chippewa) and our staff is of either Native background, or exceedingly Native-friendly!"

Our Top 3 Favorites:

  1. ​_Tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine_​ by Shane M. Chartrand, $29.95
  2. Aza Abe Card Set Collection, $24
  3. Forest Heals Print by Chholing Taha, $26

On Instagram, Nani Chacon describes herself as a "Dinè x Xicana painter, muralist, [and] professional daydreamer." Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Chacon is known for using her work to examine the injustices BIPOC women endure, incorporating themes of modernism, traditionalism, and feminism into her creations.

Our Top 3 Favorites:

  1. "Squash Blossom" Limited-Edition Giclee Print, $50
  2. "Walk in Beauty" Limited-Edition Giclee Print $110
  3. "Flamenca," $120

Amy Yeung (Diné) founded Orenda Tribe in 2013 because she was tired of seeing fast fashion clothing and trend-based goods end up in landfills. Focusing on a sustainable design process involving handmade items, repurposed vintage, and upcycled textiles, Orenda Tribe aims to protect the land and help others while selling apparel, home goods, and jewelry.

Our Top 3 Favorites:

  1. 7 Navajo Botanical Collection Prints by Olathe Antonio, $75
  2. Vintage Hand-Painted '70s Tesuque Pottery, $150
  3. Upcycled Vintage Linen Napkins, $95

In 2014, siblings Rico and Crystal Worl founded Trickster Company to advocate for Indigenous design. "As designers, we strive to represent the way in which traditionally rooted people represent themselves in modern context and fashion," reads the company's About Us page. "We focus on Northwest Coast art and explore themes and issues in Native culture and strive to represent a prestigious lineage of art in fresh and energetic ways as a celebration of Northwest Coast culture as it lives today."

Our Current Top 3 Favorites:

  1. Pillow Case by Crystal Worl, $40
  2. Blueberry Mountain - Giclée Print by Crystal Worl, $65
  3. Notebooks Featuring Crystal Worl Designs, $20

In 2000, the Chickasaw Nation purchased the Bedré Fine Chocolate company, turning the small business into a national brand that makes tasty treats. According to its Our Story page, Bedré is the only brand of fine chocolate that has been created by a Native tribe. With this in mind, the recipes intend to honor the Indigenous, Mesoamerican people who first cultivated chocolate.

Our Current Top 3 Favorites:

  1. White Fudge Twists, $9.75
  2. Grand Collection, $64.99
  3. Meltaway Go-Go Box, $19.99

Owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe, Eighth Generation is a lifestyle and art brand that was founded in 2008 by artist and activist Louie Gong (Nooksack). Gong started by customizing shoes in his family room and now, Eighth Generation is the first Native-owned company to produce wool blankets. By selling 100% Native-designed products, the company strives to support artists while offering an ethical alternative to art that is "Native-inspired."

Our Current Top 3 Favorites:

  1. "Renewal" Wool Blanket by Sarah Agaton Howes, $203
  2. "Star Boy" Mini Framed Print by John Isaiah Pepion, $32
  3. Faith Beach Towel by Bethany Yellowtail, $49

Séka Hills began as a business in 2010, equipping the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation with a way to sell the premium products — olive oil, wine, honey, nuts, vinegars — they farm on their homeland, Northern California's Capay Valley. In caring for this land, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation continues to bond with their ancestors as they work to preserve their language, culture, and traditions.

Our Current Top 3 Favorites:

  1. 2019 Séka Hills Sampler, $35
  2. Wildflower Honey, $10
  3. 2015 Syrah, $35

"Arianna Johnny-Wadsworth is a proud daughter of the Quw'utsun'/Cowichan Tribes," reads the business's Our Story page. "She was born on Vancouver Island, & raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, which has always been Unceded Coast Salish Territory. Quw'ustun' Made is a project to preserve the traditional knowledge of the Coast Salish Nation in order to pass it on to the next generations." Specifically, the brand is a modern skin care line that is designed to preserve ancestral medicines. It is currently based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the land of the Pueblo peoples.

Our Current Top 3 Favorites:

  1. Organic Hand Wash, $18.75
  2. The Weaver Handmade Fragrance, $51
  3. Rosewater Nettle Mist, $15

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center was founded in 1976 by 19 Pueblo tribes of New Mexico to honor the art and culture of the Pueblo peoples. The Indian Pueblo Store is the retail-oriented branch of the cultural center, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that gives Pueblo and Southwestern Native peoples the opportunity to share and sell their work.

Our Current Top 3 Favorites:

  1. Brian Delorme Acoma Pillow Vase, $180
  2. Petroglyphs Cup by Robert "Spooner" Marcus, $60
  3. Fernando Padilla "Horse Nebula" Painting, $350

Through his work, artist John Isaiah Pepion strives to connect with his history and preserve the culture of the Blackfeet Nation in northern Montana. His biography reads: "John incorporates traditional design elements into colorful contemporary illustrations, leaving his work highly recognizable. Most importantly, John's art deepens his connections to self and place, providing him with a sense of strength."

Our Current Top 3 Favorites:

  1. "Lightning Horse" Wool Blanket, $215
  2. Plains Greeting Card Pack, $32
  3. "Wolf Love" Mini Framed Print, $32

When Anna Gragert isn’t trying to create a groundbreaking third-person bio for herself, she's writing for places like Teen Vogue, Glamour, Bust, Nylon, and now, Hunker! Follow Anna on Twitter or Instagram for more.

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