Native American Couple Changes the Game of Native Representation

0

A Native American couple uses the power of social media to create big change. Agnes Woodward and Whirlwind Bill have been keeping busy with Reecreeations, an online business. From artwork to clothing, they use their platform to cover serious topics, like the epidemic of missing and murdered natives. “They can use the tools of our culture to also find healing and moments of comfort,” Agnes Woodward said. , co-owner of Reecreeations. The social media business has been a huge passion for the duo, who are based in North Dakota. For Woodward, it’s about creating ribbon skirts. The item is a historical and traditional garment often worn at special events like powwows and funerals. They are also seen as an expression of history, resilience and character within Indigenous communities. But it wasn’t always that way for Woodward. Growing up in Canada, she was often ashamed to wear them. “You feel the microaggressions,” she said. “You see your family being treated in public and in stores and things like that, and it affects your self-esteem. It affected mine.” Yet with time came empowerment. Woodward finally found new inspiration. She now sews the delicate pieces by herself and by hand. “The past nine years have focused, in particular, on murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people,” said Danielle Ewenin, Agnes’ mother. Ewenin is known as a key activist in Canada. For decades, she spoke out against mistreatment and defended the rights of indigenous communities. “We have the right to be here, and we have the right to the land, and we have the right to our culture and our way of life,” she said. Ewenin’s work only inspired Woodward to dream bigger. Many of her ribbon skirts often symbolize the matriarchal power of Indigenous women. Rep. Deb Haaland (D – New Mexico) even wore one of the skirts when she was sworn in as chief of staff in March 2021. She’s the first Native American to take on the role in US history. . But mother and daughter aren’t the only ones making changes within Indigenous groups. Efforts are actually a family affair. Woodward’s husband, Whirlwind Bull, usually spends his time creating his own works. It’s an ability he never shared growing up until now. He is also co-owner of Reecreeations. . “But seeing my wife do her artwork and then seeing my mother-in-law, the work she’s been doing for years, was inspiring.” Since 2017, Bull has produced dozens of paintings and sketches, many of which shed light on the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous people from the perspective of one man. And its popularity only grew. “I was just like, ‘Wow, I must be cool.’ And to see like 12 different people, to see a piece of design that I tattooed on them, and they all have it on hoodies and t-shirts. the couple say they have worked tirelessly over the past five years. A time filled with happiness and a sense of purpose, all to inspire self-love. “It boosts your confidence, it boosts your self-esteem, it helps you connect,” Woodward said. “Being able to express that in a healthy way is just so empowering.” Follow Reecreeations on their Facebook page here.

A Native American couple uses the power of social media to create big change.

Property of HearstCourtesy of Agnes Woodward

Pictured: Agnes Woodward and Whirlwind Bull

Agnes Woodward and Whirlwind Bill have been keeping busy with Reecreeations, an online business. From artwork to clothing, they use their platform to cover serious topics, like the epidemic of missing and murdered natives.

“They can use the tools of our culture to find moments of healing and comfort as well,” said Agnes Woodward, co-owner of Reecreeations.

The social media adventure has been a huge passion for the duo, who are based in North Dakota.

the power of 'recesses'

Property of HearstCourtesy of Agnes Woodward

Pictured: a ribbon skirt created by Woodward.

For Woodward, it’s about creating skirts with ribbons. The item is a historical and traditional garment often worn at special events like powwows and funerals. They are also seen as an expression of history, resilience and character within Indigenous communities.

But it wasn’t always that way for Woodward. Growing up in Canada, she was often ashamed to wear them.

“You feel the microaggressions,” she said. “You see your family being treated in public and in stores and things like that, and it affects your self-esteem. It affected mine.”

Yet with time came empowerment.

the power of 'recesses'

Property of HearstCourtesy of Agnes Woodward

Pictured: a ribbon skirt created by Woodward.

Woodward finally found new inspiration. She now sews the delicate pieces by herself and by hand.

“The past nine years have focused, in particular, on murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people,” said Danielle Ewenin, Agnes’ mother.

the power of 'recesses'

Property of HearstCourtesy of Agnes Woodward

Pictured: Danielle Ewenin, Woodward’s mother.

Ewenin is known as a key activist in Canada.

For decades, she spoke out against mistreatment and defended the rights of indigenous communities.

“We have the right to be here, and we have the right to the land, and we have the right to our culture and our way of life,” she said.

Ewenin’s work only inspired Woodward to dream bigger. Many of her ribbon skirts often symbolize the matriarchal power of Indigenous women.

the power of 'recesses'

Property of HearstCourtesy of Agnes Woodward

Pictured: Rep. Deb Halaand (D – New Mexico) wearing Woodward’s ribbon skirt during her swearing-in as the first Native American chief of staff in U.S. history.

Rep. Deb Haaland (D – New Mexico) even wore one of the skirts when she was sworn in as chief of staff in March 2021. She’s the first Native American to take on the role in states history. -United.

But mother and daughter aren’t the only ones making changes within Indigenous groups. Efforts are actually a family affair.

the power of 'recesses'

Property of HearstCourtesy of Agnes Woodward

Pictured: Woodward with his family.

Woodward’s husband, Whirlwind Bull, usually spends his time creating his own works.

It’s an ability he never shared growing up until now.

He is also co-owner of Reecreeations.

“I never had the confidence myself to really think I can do or be part of anything, because I lack confidence,” he said. “But seeing my wife do her artwork and then seeing my mother-in-law, the work she’s been doing for years, was inspiring.”

the power of 'recesses'

Property of Hearst

Pictured: a t-shirt featuring one of Whirlwind Bull’s designs.

Since 2017, Bull has produced dozens of paintings and sketches, many of which shed light on the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous people from the perspective of one man.

And its popularity only grew.

“I was just like, ‘Wow, I must be cool.’ And to see like 12 different people, to see a design piece that I tattooed on them, and they all have it on hoodies and t-shirts,” he said.

As for the business as a whole, the couple say they have worked tirelessly over the past five years.

the power of 'recesses'

Property of HearstCourtesy of Agnes Woodward

Pictured: Agnes Woodward and Whirlwind Bull.

A moment filled with happiness and a sense of purpose, all to inspire self-love.

“It boosts your confidence, it boosts your self-esteem, it helps you connect with yourself,” Woodward said. “To be able to express that in a healthy way is just very empowering.”

Follow Reecreeations on their Facebook page here.

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.