First contemporary indigenous designer to have work worn at the Oscars

MANDAREE – Norma Baker Flying Horse became the first indigenous contemporary dress designer to have one of her fashion designs worn at the Academy Awards show just last month.

Flying Horse, owner of Red Berry Woman, which is a fashion designing business at Mandaree on the Fort Berthold Reservation in western North Dakota, dressed Alice Brownotter for the evening in a dress decorated with dentalium shells.

“Miss Alice was an onstage guest of singer-songwriter and activist Andra Day. She represented her home, the Standing Rock Nation, as well as the rest of Indian Country who felt such pride to see her among Hollywood’s elite. Thank you Natalia and Alice for allowing me to be your Red Carpet Designer. I’m so very honoured and proud,” Flying Horse said to the Bismarck Tribune.

Brownotter was asked to be one of 10 activists at the Oscars as the 14 year-old is active in Standing Rock with the NoDapl movement. She ran 1519 miles at the of 12 from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in north Dakota to the front steps of the Army Corps of Engineers office in Washington D.C., in protest of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Her mother has supported Flying Horse’s work for some time and when Brownotter was asked to appear on the stage of the Oscars, Flying Horse was the first person she thought of that would have a fashion design to coincide with her daughter’s native heritage.

Flying Horse has been designing fashions for several years in addition to her full-time work. She works in the chairman’s office of the Three Affiliated Tribes. This fall she plans to devote all her work time to her fashion design business.

Red Berry Woman can be viewed on Facebook.

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