Earlier this summer, the first Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week featured the creations of 25 designers from First Nations communities across Canada. Joleen Mitton, a former model who has Plains Cree and Blackfoot ancestry, launched the four-day event, held at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, Canada.
As a teenager, Mitton traveled the globe modeling for major brands and had many photo shoots in Asia. She later returned to her roots in Canada, where she mentored teenage indigenous girls who grew up in foster care. She helped the girls reconnect with their First Nations heritage and recruited a few of them to walk down the runway at the inaugural fashion show.
On one evening of the event, models and attendees wore red in remembrance of the indigenous women and girls who have been kidnapped or murdered in Canada. According to a 2014 report by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, there were more than 1,000 victims over the past three decades, and Canada's minister for the status of women has said that figure exceeds 4,000 women.
Here are photographs from the fashion show, and scroll down to see a video of the event.
And here's a video from the event, as well.
Sonia Narang reported and photographed this story from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI