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Many Indigenous artists and Native-owned businesses are often asked if non-Native folks can purchase and style our products designed by Native artists. The answer is YES, absolutely! But make sure you understand why:
When you purchase from Eighth Generation, you’re directly supporting the Native artist who designed that product; the Native employees who helped create, prep and get that product to you; and our Tribal owners — The Snoqualmie Tribe — who support hundreds of Indigenous people.
Our products are made with authentic designs that amplify Native communities everywhere.
On the other hand, have you ever come across a product that claims to be “inspired by” Native artwork? These “Native-inspired” designs are churned out by corporate, non-Native companies that exploit Indigenous people and their artwork. This is partly why our CEO and founder Louie Gong (Nooksack) coined our tagline, “Thanks for supporting Inspired Natives™, not “Native-inspired.”
Renowned artist, founder and owner of Heart Berry and Inspired Natives™ Collaborator, Sarah Agaton Howes (Anishinaabe), knows Native art is popular and appealing to everyone. She says the support of Eighth Generation’s Inspired Natives™ Project and buying from other Native companies is the ethical alternative to appropriation and theft.
“Our companies employ, build, and celebrate Native people. Supporting Native companies isn’t charity. We are competent entrepreneurs that create beautiful work. Of course support and also ENJOY Native owned businesses! For me personally as an artist, I wouldn’t sell anything that isn’t appropriate for a non-Native person to have.”
- Sarah Agaton Howes (Anishinaabe)
John Isaiah Pepion (Blackfeet), a celebrated graphic artist and Inspired Natives™ Collaborator, says he too gets the questions from non-Indigenous people: 'Can we buy this art?' and 'Is it ok for me to wear your art?'
"Yes, wear my art and buy all of it too," John says. "Everyone can support Indigenous people and help uplift our communities."
Check out our Shop by Artist page on our website to learn more about the artists and communities you’re supporting! Thank you for making the ethical choice in supporting Inspired Natives™, not “Native-Inspired.” Share some of your favorite Native artists in the comments!