PHOTO: Official Pin of the 2021 Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards

Vashti Etzel Creates 2021 Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards Official Pin

October 27, 2021

Yukon artist creates heirloom adornments for 2021 Award Winners

Ottawa, ON – October 27, 2021 | Today, Pow Wow Pitch, a non-profit organization that supports and celebrates Indigenous entrepreneurs, announced artist Vashti Etzel, Founder of Golden Eye Designs, as the designer for the 2021 Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards Official Pin.

Each of the eight Award Winners of the 2021 Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards from across Turtle Island will receive an official hand-beaded adornment as an heirloom in recognition of their impact and outstanding achievements.

Vashti shares the following description of her design, materials and her vision for the pieces.

“Eszį’ Vashti Etzel gūye’. Shuhta Dene yeh Kaska Dene lāst’ā. Tułidlini Dene lāst’ā. Golden Eye Designs nénehstîg.

My name is Vashti Etzel. I am a Shuhta Dene and Kaska Dene artist. I am from the Unceded Traditional Territory of the Kaska Dene, Ross River, Yukon. I am the owner of Golden Eye Designs. 

The Official Pin for the Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards is made with White Caribou hair tufting, size 15 sterling silver Charolette Cut Beads, 24kt Gold Plated beads, and Smoked Hometan Moose Hide backing. 

I chose land-sourced materials such as Caribou Hair and Smoked Hide to represent where I come from as a Northern Artist. The Caribou hair tufting gave the leaf a beautiful texture. The smell of the smoked moose hide feels like home. I was asked to create a pin inspired by Christi Belcourt’s image of ‘Joy’ in white, silver and gold. I thought the colour white and Christi Belcourt’s ‘Joy’ leaf harmonized a beautiful balance of purity and promoted an awakening and openness of creativity and peace.

I was beyond ecstatic to be a part of such a powerful collaboration. I hope the winners feel connected to our ancestral roots, that they feel empowered and sacred when they receive their pins. 

It has been an honour to collaborate with the Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards as the artist and designer of their Official Pin for the winners. As a northern artist representing my community, I couldn’t be more humbled to share and inspire our Indigenous people to continue carrying on our traditional practices through art, story, language and land protection.”

The Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards Digita Gala takes place on November 4th from 6.00 PM ET to 7:30 PM ET and features a special performance by musician Fawn Wood and the presentation of the eight Award Winners. Register now to watch the awards and join in the celebration.