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Native American Fashion Designers Model Work at Yellowstone

Della BigHair-Stump includes designs from the Crow Tribe in her fashion work. (Designs by Della)
Della BigHair-Stump includes designs from the Crow Tribe in her fashion work. (Designs by Della)
June 6, 2019

CROW AGENCY, Mont. – Native fashion will be on display at Yellowstone National Park next week.

Indigenous designers and artists from across the West are converging on the park for the first Yellowstone Tribal Marketplace and Fashion Show to showcase the arts and culture of the Northern Plains Native people.

One of the featured designers is Della BigHair-Stump of Crow Agency, Mont., owner of Designs by Della. She describes her work as fashion meeting culture and includes designs from her native Crow, or Apsaalooke Tribe in gowns, dresses and active wear.

BigHair-Stump says Native American designers are gaining recognition nationwide.

"At first it was probably just a handful of designers from here, from the Plains and then down to the Southwest,” she relates. “But it is getting its popularity throughout Indian Country and also the non-Indian communities as well."

BigHair-Stump knows something about the growing popularity of Native American designers. Earlier this year, she traveled to Paris to be part of International Indigenous Fashion Week.

The Yellowstone fashion show takes place June 11 at the Old Faithful Inn in Wyoming. Representatives from the American Indian College Fund and Montana Department of Commerce also will attend.

Carrie Moran McCleary, a designer from the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, will be showcasing designs from her brand Plains Soul. McCleary says it's a big deal that Yellowstone is hosting Native American artists.

"We're excited about the park recognizing that, as tribal nations, we are still here,” she states. “Originally, the park is Native land. The Nez Perce people, the Nimiipuu people were hunting, gathering and camping in the area that is now Yellowstone National Park."

McCleary says acceptance of indigenous people in the park has fluctuated over the past century. The Yellowstone Tribal Marketplace will be up from next Tuesday through June 14 at Old Faithful Inn so Native artists can display and sell their work.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - MT