In a time of change, Nike continues to lead on the progress front.
An Alberta woman from the Enoch Cree Nation is now featured in a new Nike ad for the brand’s N7 shoes. Ashley Callingbull is a model, actress, motivational speaker, and former Mrs. Universe. She made headlines with her 2015 Mrs. Universe win, becoming the first Indigenous and Canadian woman to be crowned with the coveted title.
Callingbull is one of three Indigenous models featured in the campaign – a rare sight in mainstream media, where Indigenous people have been virtually, and sadly, absent.
The progressive photo shoot came in the height of Canada’s COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Nike sent Callingbull all the apparel, lighting, and props she’d need to shoot remotely via Zoom.
The shoes are inspired by Indigenous culture and heritage plants found across the Americas. Each item of clothing in the collection features a different pattern, with each pattern designed to evoke the healing force of the land.
A portion of the proceeds from the N7 Collection is directed back to Indigenous communities through Nike’s N7 fund, which empowers Indigenous youth through sport. Since its inception in 2009, the fund has raised more than $7.5 million USD in grants for 259 communities.