From Daniel Hill to Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto

I’m a Sage Paul, Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto learner. The original design concept is to “challenge what you think about Indigenous Art.” Standing on the land of our historic Algonquin Gathering Place with cloth dyed by my hands spread out on a table is the Circle of my Bloodline.

Change is always painful and difficult but we have moments in time, when it’s all made clear. When we get to see behind the curtain of our own personal masks and realize the significance of our time on this Earth. We all have a purpose in life. We all have free will as to how we choose to walk out our purpose including the option of doing nothing and ignoring the purpose all together.

My choice is to make art in a way that’s sustainable for the land and Eastern North Carolina Algonquin culture. As an indigenous woman, “I’m not a stereotype, I’m not a trinket and I’m certainly not a commodity.” Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto is teaching me that I can succeed, that my creative energy does matter towards making the world a better place.

Living and making art Down East gives me little validation. It’s a struggle with little recognition or acknowledgement. But, life isn’t fair and I don’t expect it to be. I’ve got to be creative and design a plan for success regardless of my circumstances.

To that end, today I met with a Small Business Counselor to establish myself as an LLC. I’m back to being Art by Carola creating art at Indigo Fibershed. Art by Carola LLC will sell handmade clay and fiber art, and teach workshops online and in-person. My focus will be indigenous art making practices of Algonquin people living on the Outer Banks and Coastal Plains of Eastern North Carolina. My art concepts are place and memory. The place is the Daniel Hill community and the memories are shared with Doris Jones, Minnie Haskins, Mattie Randolph, William Ashley Davis, his mother Doretta Davis, and everyone connected to “The Hill.”

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