Chief Lady Bird, Chippewa and Potawatomi Artist, aims to empower and uplift Indigenous people through illustration
Today, Pow Wow Pitch, a non-profit organization that supports and celebrates Indigenous entrepreneurs, announced the selection of artist Chief Lady Bird’s work ‘Ring’ as the official art for the 2023 Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards.
“This piece was made to symbolize the intersection of storytelling/visual languages with queerness,” said Artist, Chief Lady Bird. “It is a celebration of belonging for all of our kin and relations.”
About Chief Lady Bird
Chief Lady Bird is a Chippewa and Potawatomi artist from Rama First Nation and Moosedeer Point First Nation. She holds a BFA in Drawing and Painting and a minor in Indigenous Visual Culture from OCAD University. She spent many years living and working in Toronto but has recently returned to Rama where she lives with her partner and step-kids; she is currently involved with the Rama Harvester's Group which assesses the environmental needs of her community in regards to climate change, invasive species, food sovereignty and security, and harvesting/treaty rights, which informs and inspires much of her work. Through her art practice, Chief Lady Bird aims to empower and uplift Indigenous people through the subversion of colonial narratives and use of technology to express the nuances of Anishinaabe worldviews to a global audience.
Chief Lady Bird was the recipient of the Donna Mclean Award for Portraiture in 2015 and the Leading Women Building Communities Recognition Award in 2017. She is well-known for her large scale spray paint murals throughout the GTA but has most recently turned to digital art. She has been creating vinyl murals for local organizations in Rama and Toronto, and will soon have one installed at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She is currently illustrating her fourth children's book, with these notable books already under her belt: Nibi's Water Song, Together We Drum Our Hearts Beat As One, and Smile So Big. Her animated short film Heart Like A Pow Wow can be viewed on CBC Gem, as part of the How To Lose Everything series.
On this collaboration, Chief Lady Bird said, “I am happy to be partnering with Pow Wow Pitch because I believe in uplifting Indigenous entrepreneurs and love that Pow Wow Pitch is creating opportunities for Indigenous people to maintain ownership of their craft, business and intellectual property. It is important to me, as an entrepreneur, to be able to determine my own version of ‘success’ and be free to make choices that best represent my ethics, and I want this to be true for other entrepreneurs as well, and am always excited to watch other Indigenous people thrive!”
More of her work and life can be found on Instagram @chiefladybird.
About the Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards
Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards to celebrate excellence and outstanding achievement of Indigenous entrepreneurship. Applications are now open and will close on June 21, 2023. The Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards are presented in partnership with RBC, Shopify, and Mastercard with the support of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and Export Development of Canada. Indigenous entrepreneurs and Indigenous-owned businesses across Turtle Island can apply or nominate others for their entrepreneurial perseverance, growth, impact and example as true Indigenous icons.