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Meet the Artist

Stacia Goodman from the We Wai Kai Nation  in British Columbia.  

2022 Orange Shirt Design Contest Winner 

Stacia Goodman (Qwelkes Kidilth) is a Liqwiltox̌ artist (part of the Kwakwakaw’wakw peoples) and member of the We Wai Kai First Nation, originating from the traditional territory of Tsa-Kwa-Luten (Cape Mudge on Quadra Island, British Columbia). Across from that village, on the other side of the Discovery Passage, she was born and raised in Campbell River. Growing up amongst the Pacific Northwest Coast's raw beauty, it was easy for her imagination to be captured and drawn to art at a young age.  

She was gifted her two traditional names during ceremonial potlatch by her Grandmother June “U’magalis” Johnson. “Qwelkes” (named after her Great Grandmother), and “Kidilth” (meaning princess as the oldest daughter in the family). She was lucky to have grown up immersed in her culture, eagerly learning from knowledge keepers the teachings that had been passed down through the family for generations. These included learning traditional plant medicines, songs, family crests, histories, and stories. Indigenous artwork has always held powerful meaning in First Nations communities. It has always been an essential way to record and pass on our stories, histories, and family ties.

 

As an Indigenous woman, she feels it is important to be proud of her heritage and strive to be a strong and visible presence in the art world. She has always been an advocate for practicing “lateral kindness,” the act of lifting up and celebrating other Indigenous artists and entrepreneurs.

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Great thought and care go into everything she creates, including the name of her company. She named her art business “Spirit World Creations” after the manner in which you enter the dance floor during a ceremonial potlatch.

 

“When you are about to begin a dance, you enter through a doorway in the Bighouse, and the first thing you do is turn left in a circle towards your heart. When you do this, you are entering the spirit world and are now sharing a sacred space with your ancestors. It is with this same intent of respect, empowerment, and love that I wish to embody each piece of artwork I get to be a part of.”

Stacia Goodman (Quelkes Kidilth)

Orange Shirt Design Contest Winner 2022

“Mother Bear Energy”

For such an intimidating predator with impressive teeth and claws, mother bears are one of the most loving and caring creatures to their children. They are also ferocious defenders of their cubs and are a force to be reckoned with. This immense inner strength reminds me of the untapped raw power in all our Indigenous women who act as warriors and healers.

In my piece, I wanted to capture that beautiful spirit of a protective warrior and an uplifting healer full of love. Our inner warrior can show those teeth and claws, never backing down when it comes to fighting for what is just and right when it comes to our people. Our inner healer does the challenging work, practicing love and lateral kindness, choosing to be a toxic cycle breaker, and uplifting those who surround us in our communities.

I thought this duality of love and strength was such fitting energy to bring into a representation of an orange shirt day design.

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Natasha Root

Orange Shirt Design Contest Winner 2021 

Natasha Root is a Mi'kmaq Mixed Media artist born in Listuguj, Quebec who specializes in painting & digital designs.

 

She moved to Halifax for 3 years to focus on combining her Indigenous style of art that reflects on modern-day society which allowed her to be part of an Exhibition with Jordan Bennett and many other Artists. After her experience in Nova Scotia, she moved back to Quebec to pursue her art in her hometown. Her self-taught artwork is especially focused on Indigenous designs which allowed her to explore a brand-new style for the land of Mi'kmaki. She creates work for clients across Canada as a freelance artist and hopes to expand her talent across the nation.

 

Today, her work is inspired by the words of her late brother, whom she lost over a year ago tragically. He always told her to "Never Give up, Always Be You." His words are what she intends to express in her art. 

"My design is a reflection of love, resilience and strength for our children.The design has an eagle (feather style) that protects the children who are grasping onto fallen feathers but also symbolizes falling leaves on a tree that is in the centre point of the design. Children in residential schools have grown with strength - and this is the resilient story that the design tells. Every Child is a warrior. Every child matters."

Timothy Foster

Orange Shirt Design Contest Winner 2020 

My name is Timothy Foster and I am Gitxsan from the house of Niisto in the Lax Seel clan.  I am honoured to have my design chosen for this orange shirt contest provided by Indigenous Printing and Office Solutions.

 

This chosen design was actually a memorial piece I created not long ago in remembrance of my late wife and son whom I lost in a span of 6 years.

 

I thought it would be fitting to enter the design into the contest as my late wife and I both understood the importance of the orange shirt day and what it meant and how hard and difficult it is to change and rid our future generation of the vicious cycles residential schools created in our families.

 

She also always had a dream of opening a food bank in our community to help others in hardship and having this design represent such an important cause. I believe is very fitting as it will help bring awareness to every child matters, which she a had a deep and loving passion for, not only our children but for all families and their children as well. Thank you and please stay safe.

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Learn more about Orange Shirt Day