EDMONTON — Enoch Cree Nation’s Ashley Callingbull is featured in the campaign for a new Nike collection that uses designs inspired by intergenerational healing.
Callingbull is an activist for First Nations rights and environmental causes in Canada, as well as an actress, model and Mrs. Universe winner.
She is one of three Indigenous women in the campaign, with Chelsey Luger of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and Standing Rock Sioux of North Dakota and Shalene Joseph from the Gros-Ventre or A’aniiih people of Fort Belknap, Mont. and Athabascan people of Tanana, Alaska.
The summer N7 collection of shoes and apparel uses patterns inspired by medicinal plants including wild rose, dandelion and aloe.
“These patterns evoke the healing force of the land — a powerful source of intergenerational and cultural wellness — and the traditional methods of healing that unite our Indigenous communities in North America,” Nike said in a written release.
Arrow-inspired patterns are meant to reference strength in numbers and continuous forward momentum.
The collection is part of the Nike N7 Fund, a fund that supports organizations that provide physical activity to youth, and encourages broader forms of healing through education and career development.
The Native Wellness Institute (NWI), a non-profit that supports the well-being of Indigenous communities through ancestral teachings of health and wellness, is receiving one of the fund’s grants in 2020.
The Indigenous 20 Something Project (I20SP) within NWI works with Indigenous youth in their communities to talk about intergenerational trauma and to promote healing.
“Growing up, we were taught that wellness is supported by the physical, the spiritual, the emotional and the mental,” project coordinator Shalene Joseph said. “When we address our mental health, for example, the effects pour into every other area of our life, including our physical well-being. It’s a journey that our young people will lead for the rest of their lives.”
Intergenerational healing emphasizes ancestral teachings and culture as part of health and wellness.
The summer N7 collection is available at select retailers and online on June 21.