By Brad Bellegarde

Becki Bitternose Jacket 2 copy

Photo credit: Peter Scoular Photography

REGINA, SK – A few years ago George Gordon First Nation resident Becki Bitternose saw a Pendleton jacket at a powwow and she wanted one but couldn’t afford it. “Every time I saw a Pendleton jacket they were always like four [or] five [or] six hundred dollars,” recalls Bitternose.

When her baby was gifted a Pendleton blanket couple of years ago, it presented the perfect opportunity to try making one for her daughter. “I took her blanket and about three hours later, I had her jacket complete,” said Bitternose.

Following her successful first attempt, her aunty bought a Pendleton blanket and with complete trust told her to make a jacket. “I was so nervous [but] I did it. I had her jacket done by the next day and she loved it,” she said.

Participating in fashion shows throughout Saskatchewan such as National Aboriginal Fashion Week (NAFW), the Women’s Council Youth Fashion Show sponsored by the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC) and now the 10th Anniversary Power of Pink Breast Health Fundraiser (POP) where she is the first ever First Nations designer to showcase the runway is something she never dreamed of.

Becki Bitternose Jacket 3

Peter Scoular Photography

“I never had any intentions of doing anything like this, it was just to sit at home and sew in my free time and just create things.” Bitternose said. “Being here today at an event like this is just like, WOW!” she added.

Backstage coordinator for POP Lisa Marie Schwartz said it was important to her and the POP committee to showcase diversity. “I asked Chelsa Riel from NAFW to supply me with some photos of different designers that she has used because we wanted to get a First Nations designer in this years POP.” Said Schwartz. “After seeing Becki Bitternose’s photos and designs, I loved them and I thought she would portray Power of Pink immensely,” added Schwartz.

The 10th Anniversary Power of Pink Breast Health Fundraiser took place at the Casino Regina Show Lounge on Thursday April 16th, 2015.

Bitternose has made jackets for people all across Turtle Island from Nova Scotia to BC and even has an order from Seattle, Washington. When asked about starting her own business she said, “I’m not sure if I’m ready for business. I like doing it as a hobby and not a job [and] I find when something’s a job it’s not as fun,” she said with a laugh.

 

 

 

 

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