L.A. designer elevates Native art, women through fashion

If art preserves the culture of the Apsáalooke people, then Apsáalooke women are the keepers of that culture, cultivating it to reflect the modern day.

Fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail grew up “riding horses and running in the fields and swimming in the river and being around [her] people” on the Apsáalooke (Crow) Nation and Northern Cheyenne Indian reservations in southeastern Montana. She knows firsthand the importance of art — beadwork, textiles, quillwork — to sustaining Indigenous traditions, and in 2015 she turned that knowledge into her own brand: B.Yellowtail.

A year later, she created the B.Yellowtail Collective, made up of Native artists, to foster economic opportunities for their communities. Many of those artists and artisans are women — spanning across tribes and peoples — but all of them preserve their culture and move it forward through their medium of choice.

From left, JoRee LaFrance, KamiJo White Clay, Rustin Lane LaFrance and Nina Sanders model B.Yellowtail's Heritage Collection.

From left, JoRee LaFrance, KamiJo White Clay, Rustin Lane LaFrance

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My American dreams and nightmares: On Mississippi streets, “Native Son” and Jeezy vs. Gucci Mane

Big Cripp stood 6’2″ with a dark caramel complexion, gangsta under his fingernails, and always strapped with the respect that comes from knocking n***as out, doing a murder bid, and surviving a murder attempt on his life. Cripp, who is also my cousin, sewed me into the fabric of a well-knitted crew, the All-Fam Team. Not only was I moving with a strong unit, but I finally had a plug that moved bricks of cocaine — as Nas said, this is a drug dealer’s destiny.

It was a few minutes after 8 a.m. in Jasper County, Mississippi. The sun was still rising, sitting just at the crowns of the oak, pecan and willow trees that populated the woods. The All-Fam Team lingered outside of Uncle’s home, a tidy white structure with brown trim. Uncle was “up the road” dropping off his baby daughter at a neighbor’s house. There were eight

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