It's that time of year again! We're all inundated with holiday ads trying to get us to buy, buy, buy! But you don't have to succumb to all the mass-produced gifts. Try and buy unique gifts that also benefit Native artisans and businesses! Here are some cool and fun gifts I've found for that special someone on your shopping list.
The weather is getting colder and it sure is nice to snuggle up with a warm cup of tea. How about getting this Native American Tea mini sampler for the tea-lover in your family? The mini sampler has each of the Native American Tea Company’s 6 herbal blends such as Chief’s Delight, Good Medicine, Teepee Dreams, Indian Love Tea, Victory Tea and the caffeinated Warrior’s Brew . All herbal blends are gluten and sugar free with no artificial colors, flavorings, or preservatives. Plus you can feel good that 5% of all after tax profits go toward scholarships at Sitting Bull College!
You're going to be the hero at breakfast with these tasty jams and syrups from Red Lake Nation! You get to choose two jams and two syrups to put in this gift box. Jam/Jelly choices include Wild Plum, Wild Grape, Hawthorn Jelly, Wild Chokecherry, Highbush Cranberry and Wild Blueberry. Syrup choices include Wild Plum, Highbush Cranberry, Wild Blueberry, Wild Grape and Chokecherry. Red Lake Nation Foods is wholly owned and operated by the Red Lake Band.
One Size Fits All
Eighth Generation made an exciting announcement earlier this year that they would soon be creating wool blankets for the public! Anyone would love to receive this beautiful Salish Pattern blanket designed by Louie Gong (Nooksack). 5% of all blanket sales support the Inspired Natives Grant for emerging arts entrepreneurs.
Any Star Wars fanatics in the house? Everywhere I turn there is Star Wars merchandise to be purchased in anticipation of the upcoming release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. But I bet you can't find these at all the stores! Pendleton created a limited edition run of these four Star Wars blankets to keep you cozy on the couch while you watch a Star Wars marathon. Designs you can choose from are New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens or get all 4 to get the special commemorative boxes.
It's so nice to make a statement while being fashionable! I recently saw Mrs. Universe Ashley Callingbull wearing a pendant from Her Braids so I had to see what it is all about! By wearing your Her Braids pendant you are showing your commitment to making clean drinking water accessible. 10% of the profits directly go towards the David Suzuki Foundation's Blue Dot Movement, a movement to recognize every Canadian's right to live in a healthy environment.
I also loved this look as well! “Braids have three parts. Mind & Body & Spirit. All parts must be equal parts and tied together to be strong.”
Wow, these are gorgeous rings that would be a great idea for a Wedding Band, Anniversary or other special occasion. Louise Solomon is an Ojibwe artist from Toronto who has a strong connection to her Ojibwe roots and Reserve which is Cape Croker First Nations. She chose sweetgrass for this ring because “Sweetgrass is one of the four sacred medicines of the Anishinabe people. Its ceremonial use is to purify by replacing the negative with positive. When braided it represents the hair of Mother Earth.”
With all this new jewelry floating around, you're going to need something cute to store it in. How about one of these Mini Ash & Sweetgrass Basket?
Or maybe she'd like this Raised Red Flower Quill Box made by Artist Myna Toulouse (Sagamok First Nation). This circular quillbox has a raised red flower with Sweetgrass trim. Dimensions: 2″ diameter.
Wow! I just saw this the other day and fell in love with it. This cozy scarf was made by Fond du Lac Ojibwe textile artist Maggie Thompson and features a bold handwoven pattern. Handmade in Minnesota with 100% wool.
This gift would be perfect for the aunties, grandmas and other women in your life. Includes: 8 oz Sweet Grass Body Lotion, Forest Fern Votive Candle, Mini Sweet Grass Soap in a reusable, jute tote bag.
Cover up those little toes with this soon-to-be family heirloom. These hand-crafted moccasins from LLoree Dickens come with a special custom, wooden keepsake box. Please Note: these are handmade items so all orders needed by Christmas should be placed no later than November 20th. Orders placed after the 20th cannot be guaranteed for delivery by Christmas. Order now!
What a super adorable gift for any toddler in your life! Super sturdy construction means you could hand it down to the next generation! Chunky Puzzle – Native Animals is designed by Kelly Robinson (Nuxalk).
For the hard to shop for teenager. Check out this cool graphic t-shirt designed by Steven Paul Judd. You may have seen this street art in Indian Alley in Downtown Los Angeles.
Not sure how on time this watch will make him, but he will at least be fashionably late! This easy-to-wear stretch watch features handcrafted watch tips created by Navajo artist Arlene Yazzie. The modern geometric design was created through the traditional Native American jewelry technique channel inlay and features a striking color palette of blue turquoise, synthethic opal and black jet.
I loved this classed-up version of the snapback! I think any guy would look sharp rocking this one. This cap was designed by Sean Vosq (Luiseño) and features a golden needle and feather design on a black classic adjustable cap.
Reading is a great way to take a trip without leaving your house! Something nice to do when you're snowed in over the winter. Here are some books that will keep kids and adults entertained.
The distinguished American Indian photographer Lee Marmon has documented over sixty years of Laguna history: its people, customs, and cultural changes. Here more than one hundred of Marmon's photos showcase his talents while highlighting the cohesive, adaptive, and independent character of the Laguna people.
The below books made the Best of 2015 list by American Indians in Children's Literature, a blog run by Debbie Reese (Nambe Pueblo).
The majority of Natives in North America live “off the rez.” How do they stay rooted to their culture? How do they connect with their community?
Urban Tribes offers unique insight into this growing and often misperceived group. This anthology profiles young urban Natives and how they connect with Native culture and values in their contemporary lives.
Super Indian Volume Two contains the further adventures of Hubert Logan, a reservation boy who ate tainted commodity cheese and gained super powers. Hubert becomes Super Indian and fights evil forces that bring danger to the Leaning Oak Reservation. Super Indian and his sidekicks Mega Bear and Diogi face the ruthless Blud KwanTum, a vampire who wants to become a full-blood Indian at any cost.
Jake’s puppy Kamik is growing quickly, but the dog isn’t becoming any easier to handle. All Jake wants is to raise his puppy into a strong, fast sled dog, but Kamik is far from ready to pull a sled with a dog team. With some advice and a little help from his grandmother, Jake learns basic principles of how to begin training a dog to pull. Kamik finally has his first sled, and he and Jake can finally begin exploring the tundra together. But Jake and Kamik are still inexperienced, and when a blizzard starts blowing in across the tundra, Jake has to rely on his knowledge to get home. Inspired by the life memories of the author, an Inuit elder, this book lovingly presents basic dog-rearing practices that even the youngest dog lover can try.
Born of Mohawk and Cayuga descent, musical icon Robbie Robertson learned the story of Hiawatha and his spiritual guide, the Peacemaker, as part of the Iroquois oral tradition. Now he shares the same gift of storytelling with a new generation.
The Apple Tree — A Modern Day Cherokee Story Told in English & Cherokee
A Cherokee boy plants an apple seed, already seeing the apple tree it is meant to be. But the little apple tree is not so sure. Young and impatient, it begins to doubt its calling after apples fail to appear that first fall. How can the boy convince the tree to give the seasons the time to work their magic? The story is told in English with Cherokee translation, and includes a Cherokee syllabary.
Don't forget to shop at our very own Pow Wow Life shop! Shirts and stickers to show you Live the Pow Wow Life!
And if the choices here are too overwhelming, or you’re afraid of getting the size/color wrong, you can always give a Gift Certificate or Gift Card.
Here’s a list of Native-owned businesses that offer that option:
I hope this guide has been helpful. Feel free to also look back to our past Baby, Mother's Day and Father's Day Gift Guides for other ideas. I try my best to make these lists all about Native-owned businesses or native-designed gifts so please think of them the next time you’re shopping! Happy Holidays to you and yours!
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