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Billings based online platform showcases Native American artists and their work

Posted at 5:34 PM, Oct 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-24 12:40:48-04

BILLINGS — There’s a story to be told with each piece of indigenous of art, and now there’s an online platform called TRIIA that showcases Native American artists and their work, giving others a glimpse into their culture.

You won’t find Native American-inspired hand-beaded dresses in just any retail shop.

“I just love beading, it’s very therapeutic for me. And I just love creating something and seeing the finished product,” said Native American fashion designer, Brocade Stops Black Eagle on Thursday.

Stops Black Eagle is Crow, Mandan, and Hidatsa and currently resides on the Crow reservation. Her mother taught her how to bead nearly 30 years ago, and recently, the former registered nurse took a dive into beading full-time.


“Since I love beading, I thought it would be a great business to take my beadwork and put it on wearable art,” Stops Black Eagle said.

That’s where TRIIA comes in. It’s an online platform that supports and showcases hundreds of Native American artists and promotes cultural tourism.

“Sometimes when we go into an art show, or we see something online, we just see the earrings, we see the beautiful paintings, the beautiful clothing, but what we’re missing sometimes is that back story,” said TRIIA Program Manager, Laura McGee.

McGee is Blackfeet herself and works for the Native American Development Corporation. Under her guidance, TRIIA has become more than just an online platform, but also a networking tool for Native American artists.

“Since March, we’ve had a couple dinners and auctions where we bring in artists such as Ben’s work, Brocade does the fashion shows,” McGee said.

Billings-based artist, Ben Pease, is Crow and Northern Cheyenne. He owns a studio on Montana Avenue and is a part of the TRIIA program as well.

“They're becoming to be a really good resource for artists for connecting the clients, the consumers, different markets and really trying to make a space for artists who are also indigenous,” Pease said.


It’s a significant resource for indigenous artists as they’re already competing in a predominantly Western market.

“For so many years, our stories as indigenous people have always been told by somebody else than ourselves and I think it’s powerful being able to tell our stories ourselves,” said Pease.

For Stops Black Eagle, being able to tell her own story through a platform like TRIIA is life-changing.

“It’s been a really great support system, networking, getting my name, my business out there. I would really recommend it,” said Stops Black Eagle.

TRIIA is hosting an Indigenous Holiday Art Market, Dinner, and Live Auction event in Bozeman on November 5. You can learn more about TRIIA and its future events by visiting Triia | Facebook or Home - Triia.

If you’d like to learn more about Brocade Stops Black Eagle’s work, visit Brocade (

You can find out more about Ben Pease and his work at Ben Pease | Indigenous Artist | Ben Pease- Native American Artist (