This episode features Delaney Thiele, the artist and creator behind AK Cloudberry. Cloudberry is the catalyst for Delaney's reconnection with her culture and has contributed to strengthening her identity as an Indigenous woman. Some questions that guided this conversation were: How do you feel about cancel/consequence culture and what role does social media play in that? Are there differences in individual vs community ownership in patterns/designs/ideas? And if so, what are those differences?
How does an Indigenous-owned business or business model/approach work in a capitalist society? (Does it work?)
I think that, like, putting Indigenous people in a box and saying "you can only use these materials or these things. That is what makes you Indigenous." I think that is an outside perspective and a colonized perspective of who Indigenous people are because I mean colonizers want to think that Indigenous people haven't grown or changed or haven't been learning for a millennia on how to use better tools or systems. We have all these things available to us. Why are Indigenous people the only people being excluded from taking advantage of those materials and those lessons and that knowledge?
Delaney Arnaq Naruyaq’ Thiele is a Dena’ina Athabascan and Yup’ik woman from Anchorage, Alaska. Delaney graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Alaska Native Studies.
Since graduation, Delaney has been running a small jewelry business featuring hand woven beaded accessories: Cloudberry. Delaney fell in love with the ancestral knowledge and beauty of beadwork and from this love, Cloudberry was born. Cloudberry has been the catalyst for Delaney’s reconnection with her culture and traditions and has significantly contributed to her ongoing journey of reclamation and strengthening of her identity as an Indigenous woman. Delaney predominately uses Japanese glass beads and takes inspiration for her work from traditional Indigenous techniques and her picturesque homeland.
You can find her work at akcloudberry.com or @ak.cloudberry on Instagram.
This episode is brought to you by Northwest Strategies, an Alaska Native and woman-owned full service brand marketing and communications firm committed to elevating Indigenous voices. Northwest Strategies celebrates and advances Alaska's First People with purpose and pride through inclusive and authentic representation in media. Learn how Northwest Strategies is changing the narrative at nwstrat.com or check them out on Facebook or Instagram!