The welcome room at the Skwachàys Lodge and Residence
Indigenous artists put their stamp on home furnishings, apparel and more
ROOM SERVICE Each of the 18 boutique hotel suites in Vancouver’s Skwachàys Lodge and Residence is unique, but all were conceived by Indigenous artists in collaboration with local interior designers. A fair trade gallery at street level showcases Indigenous artistic and cultural work. The proceeds from the hotel and gallery go to the non-profit Vancouver Native Housing Society, which owns and operates them, to subsidize 24 live/work studios for Aboriginal artists. The building also houses a rooftop sweat lodge and smudge room used for spiritual cleansing, studio/workshop production space and a commercial kitchen.
GOING COASTAL Pender Harbour–based artist and designer Sabina Hill, whose grandfather built Yellow Point Lodge on Vancouver Island in the 1930s, was introduced to Aboriginal art through her parents’ collection of Nuchatlaht baskets. Since 1998 she has collaborated with First Nations artists to create art, furniture and interiors with a Pacific Northwest Coast aesthetic. The stainless steel Accessories Collection, with Kwakwaka’wakw artist Steve Smith, includes a candle surround depicting an Eagle and Raven.
PILLOW TALK Vancouver’s Chloë Angus Design melds fashion and home decor items with Indigenous artwork. Each piece is licensed and includes the artist’s signature to ensure authenticity. The signature Modern Print pillow cover, a collaboration between Chloë Angus and Haida artist Clarence Mills, is an abstract interpretation of traditional Haida design that doesn’t belong to a specific clan or crest. The covers are soft, durable, washable melton cloth with shell detailing.
PLATE GLASS Kwakwaka’wakw and Tlingit artist Corrine Hunt has designed everything from the 2010 Olympic medals and 2018 Canadian Olympic snowboard team sweaters to jewelry, eyeglasses and furniture. Her tableware collections, produced by North Vancouver’s Boma Manufacturing, are made of recycled glass.
FABRIC ART A member of the Tsimshian Eagle clan from Lax Kw’alaams, Morgan Asoyuf was born in Prince Rupert and now lives in Squamish. She learned wood carving from her father, Henry Green, and specializes in handmade jewelry. Asoyuf has also designed a textile collection that includes a cushion cover, napkins, table runner and tea towel with a Running Raven motif, developed and sold through Native Northwest.
FASHION SENSE Tsawwassen-based Dorothy Grant creates clothing for men and women to embody the Haida philosophy of self-respect. Her work is featured in museum collections across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., and Nuu-chah-nulth actor Duane Howard, who appeared in The Revenant, wore her Eagle Raven tuxedo to the 2016 Academy Awards. Grant’s Raven Comes Full Circle scarf, made of silk and modal, has a wave-pattern border.
IN THE BAG Born in Nanaimo and raised in Bella Coola, Kelly Robinson is descended from the Nuxalk and Nuu-chah-nulth Nations. He is known for his jewelry and prints, like this Raven Transforming design on a jute tote bag.
SCREEN PLAY A member of the Nanaimo-area Snuneymuxw First Nation, Noel Brown makes silver, gold and platinum jewelry, as well as cedar totem poles, plaques, masks and ornaments. He also designs outdoor privacy screens with Coast Salish–influenced motifs for eco-friendly, Comox-based Core Landscape Products.