Tammy Beauvais Kanienkehaka, Turtle Clan, Fashion Designer, Fine Artist and Entrepreneur born in Kahnawake Mohawk Territory.
A well-travelled Indigenous woman who is very fortunate to have been raised with her people, the Haudenasaunee, Tammy left her community in 1990 after the Oka Crisis (a 78 day armed standoff that traumatically affected her community of Kahnawake).
In search of healing and spirituality after living through the armed standoff, Tammy went to live with the Metis, Cree and Ojibwa people of Manitoba. There Tammy intensively participated in healing through fasting, sweat lodge and sun dance ceremonies. In 2004 Tammy married into the Navajo Nation of Steamboat, Arizona. Tammy has the deepest respect for the teachings she received from the Indigenous people of North America. Inspired by the life teachings of the Haudenasaunee, Metis, Cree, Ojibwa and Navajo people, in 1999 Tammy launched TAMMY BEAUVAIS DESIGNS a North American Indigenous Fashion Design Company. This company designs, manufactures, markets and sells clothing and accessories utilizing North American Indigenous Symbols which reflect Tammy’s spirituality, culture and life experiences.
Successfully, Tammy was able to bring attention to her company by getting Robert De Niro, Eric Roberts, Pierce Brosnan and Pope John Paul II to wear her designs. Because of that TAMMY BEAUVAIS DESIGNS was awarded a contract to design capes for Madame Aline Chretien (First Lady of Canada). The “Sky Woman Capes” were gifted to all First Ladies of North, South and Central America including First Lady Laura Bush. “I even received a call from the President’s office telling me how beautiful the ‘Sky Woman Cape’ was – that was an amazing moment!” says Tammy.
Tammy’s designs can be found in museum collections around the world such as the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, the McCord Museum in Montreal, and the Bundeskunsthalle Museum in Germany. As one of the Top Ten Indigenous Designers in Canada, Tammy was honoured to participate in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics Aboriginal Fashion Shows.
Giving back to the Aboriginal community is part of Tammy’s philosophy. She has worked diligently to promote and support “Aboriginal Fine Craft Artisans” to create self-sufficiency through their fine art and has hosted many interns from as far away as Paris, France.
For the last 20 years, together with a group of Indigenous People from North, South and Central America Tammy has been helping to change the negative patterns developed from the effects of Genocide, Oppression, Internalized Oppression and the Multi-Generational Trauma.
Tammy also contributes to Montreal’s Aboriginal Homeless, Mohawk Language Programs, Aboriginal Literacy and to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples. This year Tammy will sponsor the “Smoke Dance Competition” at the “Gathering of Nations Pow Wow” in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Tammy strongly believes the Indigenous People of Turtle Island will thrive through a Strong Spiritual and Cultural Identity, Healing, Education and Self-Sufficiency.