NAIL ART: Indigenous History Month 2021 Dream Catcher Nails

by - June 14, 2021

When I was a kid, I was really lucky to have the opportunity to learn and experience pieces of Indigenous culture thanks to the school I attended as well as a couple of specific people close to me in my life. Though it was only small pieces of that culture that I got to experience and learn, it did make a big impression on me. One thing that I have really clear memories of are learning how to make a dream catcher from a lovely Anishinaabe woman who taught us about the meaning attached to it by her and her community. Having the opportunity to experience and learn about different cultures as children is, I think, incredibly important to driving empathy and respect for different cultures and beliefs as we grow up. 

There are incredibly deep scars here in Canada when it comes to the treatment of Indigenous people, both historically and currently, and it absolutely kills me to see so much surprise at what was discovered recently in Kamloops, because.. it's not a surprise. Not really. We knew. We know. The history of residential schools is absolutely horrifying, but even moreso when you consider that the intention that led to so much abuse and horror was to erase and destroy this beautiful, rich culture through absolute trauma to young children. 

Keep reading for more!

Clearly, for this mani, I had to choose orange as my base color as a nod to Orange Shirt Day, which recognizes and honors the survivors of residential schools and is now an officially recognized statutory holiday - the National Day For Truth And Reconciliation. I went with a bright, bold orange shade flecked with gold, white, and iridescent flakes as well as a couple of different sizes of black glitter. I really wanted to lean heavily on orange, black and white for impact and a strong nod towards logos I've seen supporting various Indigenous support organizations. 

I will admit that I felt some apprehension in doing dream catcher nails because I worried it would feel like appropriation, but I really do want to highlight the beauty and richness of Indigenous culture and one of my earliest and most imprinted memories of learning about that culture was being taught how to make a dreamcatcher when I was a child. I promise, this is very much intended to be appreciation, not appropriation. 

Like I said, I wanted to keep everything crisp orange, black and white, so I used a black stamping polish to pick up the images and then a white polish to fill in and create a strong contrast that I think is really impactful. I used a sticky base coat to transfer the images to my nails and then finished with two coats of water based top coat to seal in the stamping and bring a lot of shine to the mani. And voila!

All Products Used
Pampered Polishes - Est 1928 (Oct 2020 PPU)
Maniology - Straight Up Black
Color Club - French Tip
Piggy Paint Shine Top Coat
Born Pretty Store BP-194 Stamping Plate
Whats Up Nails Magnified Clear Stamper 11mm Nail Art Liner Brush** Dotting Tool**

** Product gifted from - use affiliate code TRYSH for 10% your first order!

As Canadians, I think it's fundamentally important that we all acknowledge the history of this country, how it was built and the people who were harmed in that endeavor and continue to be harmed to this day by the legacy of those things as well as systems that maintain a status quo of inequality. I grew up around a lot of racism directed at Indigenous people, but I was lucky that I also got to experience some of the beauty and diversity of Indigenous culture as well. There's just so much there - so much that needs to be respected and preserved. And there is absolutely a lot of repair and healing that needs to be done in this country - and I hope, now that people outside of Inidgenous communities are being faced with the unavoidable reality of that brutal history of abuse and harm done to Indigenous peoples in Canada, we'll all be more determined to get there. 

If you're interested in donating to organizations that are dedicated to supporting and elevating Indigenous communities, I would recommend checking out the following:

Reconciliation Canada a Canadian non-profit group based in Vancouver, Canada. The charity seeks to promote understanding of the Canadian Indian residential school system, which forcibly relocated First Nations, Inuit and Métis children into boarding schools from the late 1800s until the 1960s, as well as the reconciliation process begun by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Native Women's Association Of CanadaAn aggregate of Indigenous women's organizations from across the country, NWAC was founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women within their respective communities and Canadian societies.

There are so many amazing Indigenous organizations in this country and these are just two of them, but they're all doing such important work that I think we really need to recognize and support them in whatever way we can.

Be sure to head over to Cosmetic Proof and See The World In PINK to see more nail art dedicated to Allyship for #CBBxManiMonday all month long!

Thanks for reading!

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