Native American entrepreneur

Today we celebrate Native American Day which falls on the fourth Friday of September every year, and honors and celebrates Native Americans.  

Native American Day is about appreciating the long history of culture and traditions that Native Americans have preserved through the centuries.

According to an article by Refinery29, “As of 2017, Indigenous Americans owned 1.4% of all women-owned businesses (an estimated 161,500 businesses in the U.S. alone).”

Today we’re shining a spotlight on three Native American entrepreneurs whose businesses embody the traditions and culture of their heritage. 

Maese by Eileen Jimenez 

Eileen Jimenez is an indigenous queer artist living in occupied Duwamish Territory (Seattle, WA).  Maese: Art by Eileen Jimenez, is in honor of her mother, Maria Cruz Jimenez, the true maese (teacher/renaissance person) of her life. Growing up Eileen always found herself gravitating towards art, making art for friends and family. 

“In my art you will see the aesthetics of my Mexican and Otomi stories, you see the visual representation of my soul, and the colors, the culture, the visions and the dreams that live there,” she says. 

In her current body of work I focus on the embodiment of the divine that is manifested through our bodies and our hands specifically. I use linocut

and mixed media techniques to develop my own ways of telling stories in the complex layers that they exist in and to demonstrate the ways that we are connected to the Land and to each other 

“As an Indigenous leader, community member, and as an artist, everything I do and create is influenced by my many intersecting identities and lived experiences. I create the art, the structures, the programming and the educational experiences I wish my community and I would have seen and had access to as a girl from the ‘hood. My leadership is grounded in community and specifically, I believe it is my role to continue to show up, disrupt the dominant narrative, and gain access to institutional resources to share them with my community. My family’s stories, values, theories and practices keep me feeling whole throughout this process and I find support in my community through community care.”

Custom orders or commissions: maesecustomart@gmail.com

Follow Eileen on Instagram @maese.art.by.eileen.jimenez 

Snipe Clan Botanicals 

Sateiokwen Bucktooth, founder and owner of Snipe Clan Botanicals, is from the Kanien’keháka Territory of Ahkwesáhsne (also known as Akwesasne). From beauty to medicinal, plants have a way of gently getting people back to where they need to be. Snipe Clan Botanicals believes in making these options for our health easy to access.

In addition to providing products that are made with locally grown and harvested plant medicines, Snipe Clan Botanicals also provides hands-on, educational workshops for those who want to learn how to identify, harvest, and utilize our traditional plant medicines. Snipe Clan Botanicals provides the tools and knowledge and will incorporate the Mohawk Language into the learning process.

Sateiokwen Bucktooth is also a Traditional Ecological Knowledge consultant for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Environment Division – currently focusing on the Grasse River Superfund site.

In 2018, Snipe Clan Botanicals won the “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Award through the Akwesasne Business Excellence Awards 

Follow Snipe Clan Botanicals on Instagram @snipeclanbotanicals 

B. Yellowtail

Bethany Yellowtail is a member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, and proudly hails from the Mighty Few District of the Crow Nation (Southeastern Montana). She is a designer and founder of LA based apparel brand B.Yellowtail, and the B.Yellowtail Collective, a brand initiative to support Native American, First Nations, and Indigenous entrepreneurs. 

Bethany’s artistic vision and work is irremovable from her vision for her community: not only does she provide employment for dozens of Indigenous artists, Bethany was active in the No-DAPL and Women’s rights movements, fundraising thousands of dollars through apparel sales, taught ribbon skirt/sewing workshops on site at the water protector camps, and created a silk scarf to represent the women’s march on Washington. 

Since launching B.Yellowtail LLC In 2015, Bethany has become a leading voice in Native Fashion.

B. Yellowtail mission states: “WITH COMMUNITY & CULTURE AT THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO, WE’VE SET OUT TO SHARE AUTHENTIC INDIGENOUS DESIGN WITH THE WORLD.”

Follow B. Yellowtail on Instagram @byellowtail

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Author

  • Victoria Arena is a writer and student, passionate about writing, literature, and women's studies. She is bilingual, fluent in both English and Spanish. She holds an Associates in Fine Arts for Creative Writing, and a Bachelor's in English Literature from Montclair State University.

By Victoria Arena

Victoria Arena is a writer and student, passionate about writing, literature, and women's studies. She is bilingual, fluent in both English and Spanish. She holds an Associates in Fine Arts for Creative Writing, and a Bachelor's in English Literature from Montclair State University.

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