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About

Our Mission

The mission of Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week is to connect all Canadians with contemporary Indigenous fashion. Purposeful inclusivity and visibility highlighting the work of talented Indigenous creators from across the world. Hosted on traditional Coast Salish Territory, this is going to be the foremost platform to set the tone for cultural awareness as we move forward into globalisation. We will set the golden standard for Canadian Fashion, and the World.

Our Philosophy

Fashion presents one’s identity; Indigenous regalia allows for the soul of this land, of its ancient inhabitants to come through in a modern expression of clothing with meaning. Stepping forward into current takes on what to wear in an new era of ReMatriation, VIFW highlights the integration, adaptation, resilience and vibrancy of Indigenous artistry, which has always valued inventiveness with the here and now. Indigenous fashion is a political, environmental and economic statement about the land and of its original people. Our contemporary Indigenous fashion enables all people to learn how to appreciate indigenous design with exploitation or appropriation of Indigenous culture. VIFW works intersectionally, accepting all allies and contributors in their many diversities as part of the gifts a rich past with our collective passions and actions to create platforms for positive change.

Shows
warriors never die
ALL MY RELATIONS FOUNDER, INDIGENOUS FASHION WEEK PRODUCER

JOLEEN MITTON

Joleen

Joleen Mitton, East Vancouver born and bred, is no less proud of her Plains Cree, Blackfoot, Heritage. She began modeling at age 15 when a Vancouver talent scouts pulled her out of a crowd of people at the PNE. She feels extremely fortunate to have succeeded in her career as a model. She has a large portfolio created while traveling to exotic locations, working in a variety of mediums and meeting incredible people from across the globe.  

Joleen's passion for sport, art, fashion and design and social justice has lead her to focus on producing Aboriginal Fashion Shows and Basketball Tournaments across the city. Joleen has succeeded in raising awareness for local indigenous fashion and the Native Basketball community by hosting tournaments and producing fashion shows in Vancouver. She recognizes art and sport have a massive power in transforming and connecting people to their communities. She is dedicated to improving the lives of  people in her community, working intimately with a number of local non profits, putting her PR, marketing, social media and producing skills to good use.

Joleen works with the Aboriginal Urban Butterflies Day Camp-a program for children in foster care, and the Mentor Me program-which is for Native girl's aging out of foster care, and manages and plays on All My Relations women's basketball team.

Play

 

Our Sponsors & Partners

Platinum Sponsors
access
Creative BC
skwachays
City of Vancouver
Victory
Native Education College

Gold Sponsors
Pepel
Verve
Earnest
Fervid Business Solutions
Our Partners
Fervid Business Solutions
Fervid Business Solutions
Fervid Business Solutions

 

Meet the Team


Joleen Mitton
ALL MY RELATIONS FOUNDER, INDIGENOUS FASHION WEEK PRODUCER

Joleen Mitton, East Vancouver born and bred, is no less proud of her Plains Cree, Blackfoot, Heritage. She began modeling at age 15 when a Vancouver talent scouts pulled her out of a crowd of people at the PNE. She feels extremely fortunate to have succeeded in her career as a model. She has a large portfolio created while traveling to exotic locations, working in a variety of mediums and meeting incredible people from across the globe.  

Joleen's passion for sport, art, fashion and design and social justice has lead her to focus on producing Aboriginal Fashion Shows and Basketball Tournaments across the city. Joleen has succeeded in raising awareness for local indigenous fashion and the Native Basketball community by hosting tournaments and producing fashion shows in Vancouver. She recognizes art and sport have a massive power in transforming and connecting people to their communities. She is dedicated to improving the lives of  people in her community, working intimately with a number of local non profits, putting her PR, marketing, social media and producing skills to good use.



CANDACE CURR
MARKET DIRECTOR

Candace Curr is an emerging First Nations painter, songwriter, filmmaker, Art dealer and musician. Hailing from the West Coast Ditidaht First Nation, she was born and raised on Vancouver Island. Having studied psychology and physical education at Vancouver Island University, Candace’s work involved her deeply in the heart of her community, working first as a youth counsellor at Tillicum Lelum Friendship Centre, and later as an Aboriginal Educational Assistant within the public school district in Nanaimo. As an independent contractor and artist, she animates youth educational workshops on topics from fitness and nutrition, total wellness, art, music, and many more. Complete workshop descriptions can be reviewed at diversitytalent.ca



MAYNARD JOHNNY JR.
CULTURAL ADVISOR

Maynard Johnny Jr., born April 4, 1973 in Campbell River, BC is of Coast Salish descent on his father’s side from Penelakut Island and Kwakwaka’wakw descent on his mother’s side from Cape Mudge on Quadra Island. At the early age of six Maynard began drawing portraits of his family and replicating comics. By the age of seventeen Maynard began to explore North Westcoast Native design and created his first painting on a seven foot by three foot door skin panel. While Maynard is primarily self-taught, he has also studied ancient Coast Salish spindle whorls, rattles and comb designs. Maynard also credits being influenced by other artists such as: Robert Davidson, Mark Henderson and the late Art Thompson. In 1994 Maynard released his first limited edition influenced by his Kwakwaka’wakw side, but by 1995 Maynard felt his Coast Salish connection and dedicated himself to the Coast Salish style. To date Maynard has remained true to mastering his Coast Salish background and has contributed to the Coast Salish renaissance. Maynard’s work includes logo and identity designs for a variety of organizations and companies. Additionally, his works can be found on movie sets (Say it Ain’t So) and television series (Grey’s Anatomy). Maynard has also had the honor of painting an eight foot by three foot Coho Salmon sculpture that had been donated to the new World Trade Centre in New York, NY following the 9/11 tragedy. Maynard’s work has also been highlighted on cedar chests gifted to the nominees, presenters and performers at the 2009 Juno Awards in Vancouver. Maynard’s work has been in numerous gallery shows and major Museum exhibitions, such as “S’abadeb”, translating as “The Gifts” highlighting Coast Salish works. Maynard’s design was used on the cover of the S’abadeb exhibitions catalogue. This exhibition was the first of its kind exhibiting ancient pieces with new works from todays’ Coast Salish artists. The S’abadeb exhibition started at the Seattle Art Museum and traveled to the Royal BC Museum. Maynard’s currently working in collaboration with the Kwikwetlem First Nation and the city of Coquitlam that will showcase three of Maynard’s designs. The designs represent the Kwikwetlem peoples’ pre-contact traditions and will be displayed on six window panels at the entrance and exit of the Evergreen Line at the Coquitlam Station. Maynard feels fortunate to have his work sent and recognized all over the world and will continue to share the beauty of the Coast Salish through graphic painting, wood, glass, large metal sculptures and precious metals.



Laura Cuthbert
Volunteer Coordinator

When Laura walks, she treads lightly on the unceded land of the Qayqayt. Her hometown is New Westminster and she often reflects that it has been a connecting place for thousands of years. She finds as much time as possible to feel for and listen to that connection. It has been best felt when organizing in her own community around sense of place and isolation, language preservation, heritage reform, and indigenous solidarity. That same feeling and listening has fuelled her organizing work in the disability sector at Kudoz and her studies in Anthropology. She’s learned to inform system design and community connections. Most of all she has learned that a great partnership is what makes a project real and possible. People power.




Cheyenne Stonechild
EVENT ASSISTANT

 

Cheyenne Stonechild is Cree from Muscowpetung Reserve in the Qu’appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Canada. She is a former youth-in-care, having aged out of the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) in 2014. Cheyenne is passionate about improving the experience of care for generations that follow. She believes that systems can and should be designed to better reflect the young people within them, and to better serve their needs. She has served on several programs and committees within the community, and is a Youth Director within the International Institute for Child Rights and Development. She was inspired to create the program as a response to the stigma and stereotypes she experienced: both as an Aboriginal, and as a person in the care of the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD), and to help herself and others navigate the trauma of being in care, and the abuse that is unfortunately a frequent part of that experience. Cheyenne feels successful and proud of her life now, and views the odds against her as challenges to overcome, rather than as obstacles blocking her way.



BARBARA PATRICK
MODEL COORDINATOR

Barbara Patrick who is Carrier/Dene, and belongs to the Stella’ten First Nation on her father’s side, and Dutch on her mother’s side. Born in Burns Lake, B.C., she grew up in the small northern town until she was “discovered” in a shopping mall at 14. At the tender age of 15, she was internationally modeling in Japan. Over the next decade, Barbara was travelling the world and became the face of many major campaigns. While living in New York City she took her first acting class. Acting intrigued her and she made the move to Vancouver BC, signing with a top acting agency. Now she is successfully working in the film and television industry. Barbara is thrilled to be a part of the Vancouver Indigenous Fashion team. She strongly believes that First Nation Talent needs to be represented in the fashion industry and VIFW is the perfect platform to showcase it.



Amber George
Lead Hair and Makeup

With 21 years of experience and a passion for education and artful hair design, Amber's background as a successful technical director, department head and salon mentor have led her to opening her own salon, Verve Hair Lounge. Having an unquenchable passion for the craft of hairdressing has advanced Amber's talent to include all aspects of the art of hair. She is a precision haircutter and barber creating perfect haircuts for your face shape and hair texture, and it is with this expertise that she shares as one of the countries top Haircutting Educators and Stage Artist on the National Portfolio of Artists for L'oreal Professionnel Canada. Amber is an expert colourist who provides clients with a customized colour experience to perfectly complement their complexion, haircut and personality. Her specialty in beautiful hand painted dimensional hair colour using techniques such as balayage, ecaille and other techniques are what keep her most in demand. Amber's work on TV, fashion shoots, hair and fashion shows has made her an award winning updo, styling and bridal hair expert.



Jocelyn Macdougall
Project Manager

Jocelyn Macdougall delights in convening interesting, meaningful, productive groups of people who are striving to make the world better. As an independent consultant in event strategy and facilitation, Jocelyn works to build brave containers, connecting people in dialogue. She values equity and inclusion as foundational, and believes that getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is a necessary skill in today’s divided world. For Jocelyn, the arts are a price-of-admission component of a sane, healthy society, having a unique propensity to enable self and social reflection. She is also blessed to sing her heart out with seven other exceptional musicians in Vancouver’s hottest funk and Motown band, Queer As Funk.



XALAKIYA TYLER BAKER
SOCIAL MEDIA

Xalakiya Tyler Baker is an independent filmmaker, writer, and producer from the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw. Prior to venturing into the film industry, Xalakiya spent three and a half years excelling in the financial services industry where he worked his way from a nationally recognized bank to an internationally recognized investment firm. He is passionate about the Indigenous Fashion Industry and strongly believes in its power to bring Indigenous people together in solidarity. When not working within Vancouver’s Film Industry, Xalakiya enjoys spending time with his family on the Squamish Nations traditional territories.



SVEA POULSON
Design & Lighting

Born to the islands of Haida Gwaii, Svea Poulsen was raised to a family of artists, pranksters, and cultural mentors . She would be raised alongside the inland Haida trees, it’s remote culture and artistic wilderness, it’s unique love and mystical history, before growing into a woman on Vancouver Island. Her mother a true Haida soul, her father a distant mix of Danish and Scottish and other blood of Europe. In June 2018, something magical happened. Surrounded by family and the sounds of storied drums, she was given her Haida name, a patient tradition granted rarely in a Haida life. It was this name, HUUYEE JAAD - RAVEN WOMAN. Now she rests in the shadows of Vancouver’s sprouting towers, a city in rapid change, growing a career as a designer of light, design, photography, modern storytelling, and pranks.