Sunday, June 9, 2013

First Nations Designer 
Alano Edzerza

Edzerza is Alano’s family name, passed down over the last hundred years. The origin of the name comes from Alano’s great-great-grandfather, Asadza. The name itself is ages old, and has been a part of the Tahltan nation from time immemorial. The Tahltan nation is located in the North West corner of British Columbia, and is the largest traditional territory in the province. Tahltan culture reflects a mix of both Athabascan and Coastal traditions. Historically, the Tahltan people are very industrious, sustaining themselves for thousands of years with the rich resources of their tribal territory. 

In pre-contact times, Tahltan people had an elaborate trading economy based on their position between the coastal trade and the inland tribes. They are very proud of their tradition of commercial enterprise and continue to be extremely active in the modern economy of their traditional territory. They have two clans: Tsesk’iye (Raven clan) and Ch’iyone (Wolf clan). Alano belongs to the Raven clan and feels a deep connection to the Tahltan creation story featuring the Raven.

Alano began sketching at an early age and won a district award in junior high school for clay sculpture. This gave him the confidence and inspiration to increase his artistic skill. At the age of 21, Alano entered the tutelage of family member and fellow artist Terrance Campbell. In 2002, Alano furthered his education by attending school in Arizona for jewelry making under the instruction of Rick Charlie. Alano has moved through many different mediums: pencil sketches, jewelry, acrylics, glass works, grand-scale installations, wood panels and now, performance sportswear. Over the years he has also had the opportunity to work with artists Jay Simeon, Marcel Russ, Philip Grey, Corey Bulpitt, and many others. Alano was also fortunate enough to have a three year apprenticeship with Rick Adkins, whom Alano considers one of the top jewelry 

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