Six great places to buy Aboriginal Art and Clothes

The Bill Reid Gallery Gift Shop features art and clothing made by Northwest BC First Nations people.

The Bill Reid Gallery Gift Shop features art and clothing made by Northwest Coast Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal culture is the foundation of Vancouver’s identity. Our city is located on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish people and this is evident throughout our streets, parks and shops.

Whether you love the totem poles in Stanley Park, the Aboriginal art murals found all over the city or places with First Nation names like Capilano Suspension Bridge or Whey-Ah-Whichen or Siwash Rock, there is no mistaking local First Nations role in shaping Vancouver’s multicultural mosaic.

How better to share this vital part of our city’s cultural character with friends and family, than buying a piece of art, clothing or other gift made and/or designed by an Aboriginal person from Vancouver or B.C.?

A few years ago, Inside Vancouver featured a collection of must-visit Aboriginal art galleries and shops. This updated list is meant to complement the previous collection and highlight some of the new and seasoned places to ‘Shop Aboriginal’. 

Khot-la-Cha Gallery & Gift Shop is located in North Vancouver. || Photo Credit:   Flickr/Christopher Paulin

Khot-la-Cha Gallery & Gift Shop is located in North Vancouver. || Photo Credit: Flickr/Christopher Paulin

Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery @ Skwachays Lodge

Opened in 2012, the striking Skwachays Lodge is one of Canada’s first Aboriginal Boutique Hotels. Located in on the edge of Gastown and Chinatown, Skwachays is home to the Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery. If you want your dollars to go directly into the hands of an Aboriginal artist, this is the place to shop.

Bill Reid Gallery Gift Shop

One of my favourite shops in town, the Bill Reid Gallery shop carries contemporary Northwest Coast artists’ jewelry, carvings, masks, bentwood boxes and books. Featured artists include: Corrine Hunt, Bill Bedard and Gwaii Edenshaw. It’s centrally located for a quick, downtown, lunchtime gift hunt and is a great way to end or start a visit to the Bill Reid Gallery.

Salmon’n’Bannock

Next time you go grab a Bison strip loin or salmon mousse at Salmon’n’Bannock, check out their rotating art exhibition on the walls. In the back of the restaurant there are a few shelves of perfect host gifts like pepper grinders, men’s ties, scarves and travel mugs adorned with designs from B.C. Aboriginal artists.

Dorothy Grant & Edzerza Gallery 

Haida artist Dorothy Grant is a local fashion pioneer. For the past three decades Grant has designed contemporary clothing and accessories for all ages and budgets, in demand both in Canada and internationally. Meanwhile, Tahltan artist Alano Edzerza brings his fresh, form line gear to Vancouver’s streets and dance floors for the last seven years. Both sell their wares online and in local stores. You can find Edzerza’s cheeky tunics, hockey jerseys and leggings online or The Men’s Club at Park Royal while Grant’s menswear, women’s clothes and leather accessories online.

Khot-la-Cha Art Gallery and Gift Shop

Located on the Squamish First Nation land near the north end of Lion’s Gate Bridge is Khot-la-cha Gift Shop. Specializing in Aboriginal artwork from B.C., Khot-La-Cha is second-generation, family owned. Meaning “Kind Heart” in the Squamish Language, Khot-la-cha is a veritable treasure trove, selling everything from jewellery to baskets, drums to moccasins.

A view at the Squamish Lil'Wat Cultural Centre in Whistler.

A view at the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre in Whistler. || Photo Credit: Flickr/Leonard S. Jacobs

Out of town bonus….

Located at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler is the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre, a museum and community hub meant to share culture and history with visitors. A visit to the cultural centre is like a glimpse into the world of the original inhabitants of the Whister/Squamish/ Pemberton/Mt.Currie area. Their gift shop features art and cultural objects from the Squamish and Lil’Wat artists as well as other B.C. First Nations. Besides carvings, there are many weavings for sale at the gift shop thanks to the Salish Weaving Program hosted by the cultural centre.

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2 Responses to Six great places to buy Aboriginal Art and Clothes

  1. I like the second image, it is very unusual article , thanks for sharing

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