Supporting Indigenous tourism

Arts & Crafts Cooperative

Mi’kmaw Cultural Authenticity

Are you a Mi’kmaw or Indigenous Artist or Crafter? Are you an Indigenous cultural musical performer, dancer or Traditional Knowledge Keeper? Are you looking to sell your authentically made arts and crafts to more people online, in person at your location or would like to perform traditional songs and dances at an event that NSITEN or one of our partners may be organizing? Would you like to learn more about the cultural tourism industry?

If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, then joining our new NSITEN organization may be one of the best new things to help you achieve any one of these goals!

The NSITEN will be offering a free service to all artists, artisans, craft makers and traditional knowledge keepers as a way to grow opportunities but also to start organizing a collective database of individuals & businesses that would like to have more support services that would benefit their future goals and aspirations.

Once we secure and coordinate a significant and updated representation of qualified artists, crafters and knowledge keepers that meet our organizational membership criteria, we will begin to organize events that will bring them together to gather information on how best we can support their needs in developing and enhancing skill sets that will allow them the ability to better participate in the mainstream cultural tourism industry.


artisans, craft makers & performers

The type of work we promote

authentic Mi'kmaw Crafts

Locally made and sourced (which includes bead work, leather work, quill work, wood work and more) are the type of high-end products that NSITEN will be working to bring together as part of this new arts and crafts co-operative.

Indigenous Artwork

Artwork comes in many forms, from sculpture to paintings and prints, and we are excited to highlight some stunning authentic indigenous art from local Nova Scotia artists.
(Artist: Alan Syliboy)

cultural performers

Cultural performers, traditional musicians, dancers and more are an important part of our culture. Promoting and ensuring that we present culturally authentic songs, dances and traditional oral history will be a very important piece of our offerings as we move forward.
We are working together with our NSITEN team to find and bring forward a comprehensive and updated list of individuals that would like to be part of our database in anticipation of future organizations, industry and government departments looking for help in offering cultural knowledge workshops and presentations.
Individuals will be vetted through our NSITEN Elder representative & Executive Board and prior to them being added to our list we will provide an opportunity to sit down in person or share information over the phone to take the next steps to joining our database listing.

Criteria will include an in-depth knowledge of the Mi’kmaw culture and of course your Indigenous status clearly identified through criteria as expressed in our membership outline.

Featured Artist

Nancy E. Oakley

Nancy E. Oakley is a first nation artist of Mi’kmaw and Wampanoag descent. She was raised in Mashpee, Massachusetts, where her father was grand chief of the Wampanoag Nation and after art school decided to move to her mother’s reserve on the Eskasoni First Nation reserve in Cape Breton Nova Scotia to better understand her Mi’kmaw heritage.


Nancy has been involved in artwork her whole life beginning as a small child, participating in traditional dancing and making her own regalia and bead work. She eventually went to the Institute of American
Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico to study photography and tried her hand at traditional pottery.

After graduating she moved to Nova Scotia and studied for a year at the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design, taking courses in weaving, jewelry, photography and pottery. As an artist she creates culturally significant vessels that imbue her spiritual and traditional knowledge and honor her role as a mother.

She creates her pieces by using the wheel or hand building larger sculptural vessels. She finds inspiration in nature and the creation of life. She incorporates traditional practices in her creations, such as stone polishing and smoke firing and later embellishes each piece with traditional Mi’kmaw black ash basketry, intricate bead work and/or sweet grass.