How To Buy A Navajo Clothing Store
In late May, I was at my local Navajo Clothing store in downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota, when I was struck by a sudden interest in Navajo clothing.
The store had just started selling Navajo apparel for the first time.
Its merchandise, all brightly printed on soft, black-and-white paper, was stunning: Navajo embroidery patterns on a t-shirt and pants, and a Navajo headdress with a pair of earrings and a tribal flag draped over it.
I quickly picked up my own pair of Navajo pants, as well as a pair for my husband and myself.
But my attention quickly turned to the merchandise I saw on the racks.
The Navajo-printed patterns on the shirts and pants were not the usual brightly printed patterns used in Navajo embroidered clothing.
They were not even from Navajo-owned businesses.
Instead, they were from a company called aqtextiles, a Native American company based in California.
The company sells clothing for Native American women and men across North America, but it also makes clothing for women from the Navajo Nation, the U.S. territories that include the Navajo Reservation, including Baja California.
Aqtextile was established in 1992 by former Navajo Nation member, Nalini Aqedam, and was a direct result of her own experience as a Navajo woman who was forcibly taken from her parents and forcibly adopted by white people.
She and her brother were both adopted by a white family in New Mexico and were separated from their parents in order to escape the violence and oppression they were subjected to as children.
Nalani Aqdedam, right, and her family in the Ushuaia Reservation.
She now runs a clothing store called aaqtextiles in the Navajo reservation in northern New Mexico.
The two sisters had already been living together as women in the reservation for several years, and were also both very conscious of their roles as Navajo women.
Nala Aqdess and Nalina Aqeda, Nala and Nala’s sisters, both say that the Navajo clothing industry has become a major industry for the reservation and that Navajo women are being forced into this trade because of a history of discrimination against women in this country.
“I would love to be able to wear this,” Nala said of her Navajo-print shirt.
“But this is not what I can wear.
It is the only clothing I am allowed to wear, because I am not allowed to be Navajo.”
When I asked Aqda and Aqledam about the clothing being sold, Nolena Aqdeam said, “I don’t think Navajo women have any rights at all.”
Nalin Aqida, who runs the Navajo store, said that Aqeduys clothing is produced in her home, which is owned by the Aqtee tribe.
A Qebeese tribe in Arizona and Utah has also taken up the work of making Navajo clothing for themselves.
“We are very proud of our Navajo heritage,” said Nalino Aqeedam, the owner of Aq textile.
“This is a way to honor our culture.”
But Aqdues work has been hindered by laws that prevent the Navajo from participating in the clothing industry.
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) bars the Navajo tribe from participating “in, or participating in, any industry that is directly or indirectly related to the production or trade of products for export or sale in any country, or on any territory or in any part of the world where it is not permitted to do so.”
According to a CERD report published in 1992, aqediles clothing is “considered an export product, as defined in CERDP §1.1, which excludes the production and sale of clothing for use in the manufacture or export of clothing products in the territories of the United States, the Territories of Guam, and Puerto Rico.”
But the U,N.
has since removed this language from the CERDS and has instead said that clothing is not an export under the convention, but is instead a domestic product that is “available to all persons, regardless of their nationality, origin, residence or nationality.”
This has led to an increased demand for Navajo-made clothing in the United Kingdom, where the British government has also made the decision to allow women to own their own businesses.
“The decision to permit women to run their own clothing companies in the UK is an important step forward in promoting a more equal society for all people,” said Aqredam.
“It also demonstrates that it is possible to create a viable alternative to the commodification of our culture and identity, which has historically led to marginalization and exclusion.”
The Navajo Nation has a history with women’s clothing.
During the Utopian Era, the Navajo people were considered to be one of the last remnants of an ancient culture that was still in