Louie Gong describes his company, Eighth Generation, as “a Native-owned, community-engaged small business that began when I started putting cultural art on shoes.” It’s true, in 2008, Gong began decorating sneakers and skateboarding apparel with indigenous Nooksack patterns — a move that, as a Nooksack himself, set him apart from the non-Native designers who’d been doing so for years. As demand grew, so did Gong’s ambition.
Here you go, kids!
How to procure Native-American-and-First-Nation-themed items without entitlement or cultural appropriation in one easy step.
BUY THE THINGS DIRECTLY FROM THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES.
Because if they’re selling these representations of their culture and being fairly compensated, you’re not appropriating, you’re appreciating. And helping good folks make a living while you’re at it.