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First Nations Gallery Opens in Regina

First Nations Gallery Opens in Regina

Topics: Saskatchewan

Tatanka Boutique, a new art and fine craft retail store opened its doors in Regina’s Cathedral Area earlier this month.


Tatanka, which is Sioux for Buffalo, sells authentic handmade original First Nation and Metís designed artworks, crafts, jewelry, clothing and moccasins.


“There similar stores located outside of Saskatchewan and most of them are owned by non First Nations, and I just thought that there was a real niche in Saskatchewan for a First Nations’ business doing what we are doing here,” said Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway, the boutique’s proprietor.


The business aims to give First Nations and Metis artists representation for their unique handmade works. 


“We are not a fan of the manufactured or easily copied artwork. With handmade pieces you can tell the difference from one artist to the next” said BigEagle-Kequahtooway. 


BigEagle-Kequahtooway, who is a designer-turned-painter, as well as an engineer, describes her business endeavour as part social experiment and part retail.


“We are pushing the boundaries in terms of redetermining the price of art whether it’s a pair of earrings or a painting by a new artist that does excellent work. Or whether it’s educating the public on what needs to be done in terms of beadwork and the different kinds of beadwork. So its a social experiment,” she said.


BigEagle-Kequahtooway chose the name Tatanka because according to her, the buffalo best represents Regina.


“You look at the historical background of Regina and this is where the buffalo roamed and so there should be more of an appreciation for buffalo: Although they are not here physically, they are here spiritually, mentally and emotionally, and they live on in all of us including our First Nations people,” she said.


- Article by NAC writer Iryn Tushabe


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