Indigenous Collection now available at W Store!

Monday, April 18, 2022

W Store Indigenous Collection

Wanda Kidd, Myeengun Henry, and Savanah Seaton wearing Indigenous Collection

Indigenous Collection now available at W Store

Originally published in the Daily Bulletin.

Building on the success and impact of a previous partnership, Print + Retail Solutions and the Office of Indigenous Relations have worked closely together to curate a new collection of Indigenous products in collaboration with a local Indigenous artist, Alanah Astehtsi Otsistohkwa (Morningstar) Jewell of Morningstar Designs.

Alanah is a mixed French-First Nations artist, belonging to the Bear Clan from the Oneida Nation of the Thames. Alanah drew her inspiration for this design from the Grand River, the land that is part of the Haldimand Tract, on which the University sits. “I wanted to create something that incorporates the feeling of being on these lands in a natural way,” says Alanah Astehtsi Otsistohkwa (Morningstar) Jewell.

“I often go to the Grand River and each time, I am fortunate enough to see a heron. It was important for me to illustrate herons in flight, taking energy from the Great Tree of Peace and the florals that grow on the side of the river bed and flow up towards the moon. The moon controls the waters and has a deep connection to the Grand River. The circular shape depicts the cycles of the natural world and the idea of people sitting in a circle learning from one another, demonstrating the interdependence and reciprocal nature of the land, wildlife and people.

“The Office of Indigenous Relations is very excited to have this beautiful Indigenous collection available at W Store,” says Jean Becker, associate vice-president, Indigenous Relations Office. “We are grateful to the W Store team for working with us to make this happen, and grateful to have these exquisite designs by the gifted artists, Alanah and Emma, available to the Waterloo community.”

The collection includes a variety of unique items such as apparel, drinkware, stationery, and beaded jewellery. The beaded jewellery was crafted by another local Indigenous artist, Emma Rain Smith, who took Alanah’s original artwork or elements within it and incorporated them into traditional beadwork. Emma is an Anishinaabeg artist from Bkejwanong (Walpole Island) First Nation. Emma is currently pursuing her master’s degree at Waterloo in the Department of History.

This collection also includes a t-shirt of Alanah’s full design in black and white, which has been screen printed on an Orange Shirt to commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to build upon our 2021 partnership with the Office of Indigenous Relations for the Orange Shirts, which commemorated the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Working with them is always a great opportunity,” says Ryan Jacobs, director of the Print + Retail Solutions department.

He adds: “Our team is beyond pleased with the outcome of this new collaboration. We look forward to continuing to work with the Indigenous Relations team to expand this initial collection and support the great work they do for the campus. Everyone has a role to play in the decolonization and Indigenization of the University, and we’re proud to be able to play a small part in this critical work.”

W Store will be donating proceeds from the sale of this collection to support the Indigenous Student Success Fund on campus. The Indigenous Student Success Fund was established to provide financial assistance to those Indigenous students who are most at risk of abandoning their education due to financial hardship.

Funds received will be used to support students with:

  • Tuition and fees not covered by third-party funding, scholarships, financial aid, grants or other potential sources of funding.
  • Educational enrichment opportunities, where other funding cannot be found, examples include but are not limited to conference fees, professional testing fees, and student professional association fees. 
  • Tools and other school supplies or additional technology needs, where costs are over and above third-party funding allowances and additional funding cannot be found.
  • Emergency housing-related expenses, including rental payment.
  • Emergency transportation costs. Examples include travelling home for family emergencies, travelling home or to a ceremony for cultural and/or mental health reasons.
  • Emergency family and childcare costs for Indigenous students with families. 
  • Healthcare and/or medical expenses above what is covered through NHIB, OHIP or UHIP, as well as any supplementary healthcare offered by the Graduate and Undergraduate Student Associations' Waterloo Student Health Plan (
  • Other unanticipated expenses.

This collection is available for purchase in-store at W Store located in South Campus Hall or online at

For more information about this collection, please contact For questions directly related to Indigenous initiatives, please reach out to Robin Stadelbauer from the Office of Indigenous Relations at