The quarantine hasn’t slowed Ashley Callingbull’s career. The Indigenous model, pageant queen, and motivational speaker from Enoch Cree Nation in Alberta made waves this year with her biggest campaign yet: she’s the face of Nike’s N7 Collection.
Ashley’s role at the forefront of the N7 campaign, as well as her 2015 Mrs. Universe win, acting roles, and ongoing ambassadorship with RW & Co are groundbreaking. However, despite Canada’s strong Indigenous community, Ashley is one of very few people with her background visible in this country’s entertainment landscape.
For racialized groups in Canada, being the first in your field is an accomplishment with edge; a celebration that also serves as a reminder of the prejudice that permeates your industry. These accomplishments should definitely be acknowledged, but more than anything, they should be closely critiqued. Progress is great, yes, but why did progress take so long?
In 2015, Ashley was the first