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The Art of Being Suuwayaqawilth: Honoring Ancestors Through Creativity, Governance, Business, and Leadership in Contemporary Indigenous Life

Friday, November 19, 2021 at 12:30pm

Virtual Event

Jolleen is a woman from the Hupacasath First Nation, one of the Nuu-chah-nulth nations, and she is living, working, and creating in Tsuu’ma as, also known as Alberni Valley, British Columbia, Canada. Her traditional name is suuwayaqawilth which means “somebody that holds something precious for safe keeping”. Jolleen brings her Nuu-chah-nulth teachings and values into all of her work, which is about connecting with people and building relationships. Her design practice draws inspiration from her maternal grandmother, who was a renowned seamstress, and woven basketry designs created by her maternal great-grandmother, to produce contemporary beadwork. Jolleen works full-time in the tourism industry and holds a seat on Hupacasath First Nation’s Council. She is also an entrepreneur with her own beadwork business that blends her passion for tourism and community development with creative design practice motivated by her ancestors and displayed through modern styles and techniques. In this lecture, she will speak about her journey as an Indigenous woman who is a contemporary jewelry designer, economic developer, and community leader. 

 This talk is co-sponsored by the Central New York Humanities Corridor from an award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Department of Human Centered Design. This talk is part of the "Fashion & Social Justice" lecture series, which is hosted by the "Decolonizing Fashion Studies: Rethinking Curriculum, Collections, and Creative Practice" Central NY Humanities Corridor working group.

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Cornell Human Ecology, Human Centered Design

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Karen Steffy


Suuwayaqawił (Jolleen Dick, Hupačasath First Nation)

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