Inuk designer says not everyone informed about Canada Goose program

An Inuk designer is skeptical about a new “social entrepreneurship” program being run by winter clothing giant Canada Goose.

As part of its, ‘’honouring the north” initiative, Canada goose ordered an exclusive collection from 14 Inuit seamstresses.

The company recently announced their Atigi collection that includes anoraks, parkas and the famous traditional Inuit amauti.

But Victoria Okpik, a professional Inuk designer from Kangirsujuaq, says she wasn’t aware of project Atigi and according to her, neither were most Inuit.

“Most of the people I think didn’t know about this project and it should have been well publicized and people that wanted to try should have had a chance,” said Okpik.

Okpik said she’s happy for the people who took part in the project, but is concerned about the amauti patterns being shared with a big company such as Canada Goose.

“I was really worried about our traditional amauti,” she said. “I know Pauktuutit Women’s Association of Canada, they have intellectual property rights, they worked on it for a long time and I was just worried about that part because a big company like Canada Goose, if it gets a hold of the pattern, I was really worried.”

The Toronto based company said in a statement that all proceeds from the sale of the collection will go to Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK).

The national Inuit organization is responsible for protecting and advancing the rights and interests of 60,000 Inuit.

In an email, ITK was not involved in the planning, but said it will administer the proceeds of the sales.

“’ITK will collect the proceeds and we will bring them forward to our board of directors, which is made up of the elected leaders of each of the four Inuit regions, to determine how to best use these funds in Inuit communities,” the email said.

But Okpik still has concerns about the project.

“I think Inuit should be the one that benefits from that and have the total right and not big companies like Canada Goose to gain anything out of it, out of amauti,” said Okpik

APTN asked Canada goose numerous times for an interview but they did not make anyone available.

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