The Gathering 2011

Well, it’s that time of year again…our 2011 Gathering Calendar is now in stock!

The 2011 edition of our famous Gathering Calendar won’t disappoint with its high quality images of artwork by world-renowned Northwest Coast artists.  Artists in this year’s calendar include Mike Dangeli, Donnie Edenshaw, LesLIE and Hazel Simeon among other talented artists.  Each photograph of contemporary Northwest Coast art is accompanied by quotes from the artist that address the significance of their piece both personally and culturally.

As always, we do our best to produce sustainable products.  This year’s Gathering Calendar is printed and bound locally, on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper, with 10% recycled content.

Each year we look forward to curating The Gathering and we hope you enjoy this year’s edition as much as we do!

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Explore the Animals and Discover the Animals

Following the success of our children’s Board Books we have added two Colouring and Learning books to our line of children’s publications.

Have fun being creative while learning about First Nations art and culture with Explore the Animals and Discover the Animals.  Each book contains 24 pages of drawing fun with quotes from the artists about the meaning of each animal and their significance to First Nations culture.  We’ve also contributed additional educational value by providing guided questions and activities that encourage reflection upon our environment.

In keeping with our interest in sustainability and the environment, we thought it was important for the content of these books to match the finished product.  That is why we printed both books locally, on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved paper with non-toxic vegetable-based inks and water based-coatings.

We’ve attached a couple of sample pages to this blog post.  Please feel free to print those pages and encourage your child to start having fun with First Nations art!

Artist Profile – Donnie Edenshaw

“As part of the Haida Nation, I am blessed by the traditions
passed down by many generations and the artistic talent and
cultural connection of my parents and grandparents. Art,
culture, and the wonder of nature are part of everyday life.
Through art, singing, and dancing, I bring our culture into the
lives of my two daughters.”

-Donnie Edenshaw

We’re delighted to have started working with a talented Haida Artist named Donnie Edenshaw.  Donnie was born and raised in Haida Gwaii and is a member of the Raven clan of Old Masset.  Donnie is not only a master carver of wood and argillite; he is also a performing artist.  He has travelled extensively, performing Haida song and dance at celebrations around the world.  Donnie is committed to promoting Haida culture and ensuring that it continues to thrive for generations to come.

Here at Native Northwest we’re promoting Donnie’s work through a number of product categories with his “Chief of the Seas” design.  Now available for purchase are t-shirts, hoodies, travel mugs and silk scarves, each featuring Donnie’s unique style and talent.

We look forward to working on many more projects with Donnie in the future and hope you enjoy his work as much as we do!

"The seas are the generous provider of our nourishment and inspiration for our stories of the incredible" - Donnie Edenshaw

TMMEC - Travel Mug

HDECS & TDECS - Apparel

Bookmark Giveaway!

In our continual effort to support First Nations communities and Aboriginal early childhood development, we have printed some motivational bookmarks that encourage literacy and learning.  We’d like to get them out to children in the community but need your help!

If you or your organization are involved in early childhood development and education for Aboriginal children, and would like to receive FREE bookmarks,  then simply leave us a comment and let us know how many you need.  We’ll get them off to you as soon as possible.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Let's promote learning and literacy with these bookmarks by various First Nations artists.

The Board Books Are In!!!

“We want people to know more about our rich and diverse culture that has thrived in this area for thousands of years.  These books are an excellent tool to showcase Northwest Coast culture to a younger audience.” – Terry Starr, Tsimshian

We’re thrilled to announce that our children’s Board Books have arrived…and they look great!  We’ve produced four titles of colourful, educational books: Learn to Count, Learn the Alphabet, Learn the Colours, and Learn & Play, all illustrated with authentic art by First Nations and Native American artists.  Each book is printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks and a water-based protective coating.

Providing safe, non-toxic products for children is important to us here at Native Northwest, but we’re also extremely proud to be on the forefront of providing educational tools with a focus on Native art and culture. With each book we hope to encourage learning and literacy amongst Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children alike.

So far, there has been an overwhelmingly positive response from children, educators, caregivers and retailers, prompting us to continue developing more resources for early childhood development.  If you have any bright ideas for educational tools you would like to see offered please don’t hesitate to get in touch…we’d love to hear from you!

Learn the Colours, Learn to Count, Learn the Alphabet, and Learn & Play - illustrated by various Native artists

Supporting Community

We are proud to introduce one of our most innovative and socially conscious products for 2010…Renewal Spirits!  Renewal Spirits are a unique gift idea that encourage and inspire respect of our community and our environment.

Renewal Spirits are made by a social enterprise that improves the lives of women through skills training, employment counseling, and work opportunities.  Each inspirational wooden ornament is crafted with care by women from Canada’s poorest neighbourhood, a large percentage of whom are of First Nations descent.  Our Renewal Spirits provide an opportunity for these women to acquire new skills while connecting to their Native art and culture.

In addition to fostering social innovation, our Renewal Spirits also align nicely with our commitment to producing environmentally sustainable products.  Renewal Spirits are crafted from pine infected by pine beetle.  Pine trees affected by pine beetle account for millions of hectares of damaged forests from northern British Columbia, through Montana and Colorado, all the way to Mexico.  While it’s devastating losing these trees, it’s even more devastating to think that the usable wood will be left to decay in the forests before it can be logged.  We are proud to contribute to the production of value-added products made from this wood and take pleasure in knowing we have helped maintain sustainable forests and communities.

We look forward to continuing our work with this social enterprise and introducing more products that combine environmental, social, and design innovation.

Our collection of Renewal Spirits by various artists

Merchandise our Renewal Spirits with this attractive wooden stand made by the same social enterprise

RESPECT

 

Respect by Corey Bulpitt, Haida

 

Here at Native Northwest we’re committed to greening our environment.  I’m not saying we’re perfect…yet…but we have taken quite a few steps toward minimizing our impact on the environment.  For instance, we use all non-toxic cleaning products and recycled paper towels to keep the place clean, we got rid of our office water cooler (which, let’s face it, was more useful for catching up on office gossip than quenching thirst!) and we use recycled and/or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved papers whenever possible.

Not only are we making environmental strides within the office, we’re also translating this philosophy to our product line with the Designed to Preserve logo.  We started producing travel mugs eight years ago and have been building a green selection of products ever since.  We are proud to have sold thousands of travel mugs, water bottles and non-woven recycled bags, contributing to a significant reduction in paper cups, plastic bottles, and plastic grocery bags in our landfills.  Additionally, this year’s edition of our famous “Gathering” calendar was printed by a Vancouver-based FSC printer on FSC approved paper, meaning that our product is 100% FSC approved and locally produced.

In continuing to innovate in our field, we recently added a new image by Corey Bulpitt that combines our love for Native art with our passion for the environment.  Corey seamlessly combined a traditional beaver image with arrows that represent recycling to produce a symbol that embodies the respect we have for our earth both environmentally and culturally. 

You can look forward to seeing Corey’s symbol on many future products and packaging.

Water Bottles - Chilkat Whale by Ryan Cranmer, Namgis

 

Travel Mug - Four Clans by Terry Starr, Tsimshian

 

Recycled Bags - Peace, Eagle Feathers, Continuity by Various Artists