Quannah Chasinghorse covers ELLE Magazine and talks the power of personal expression.
Quannah is a 19-year-old Indigenous model whose heritage is Hän Gwich’in and Oglala Lakota.
Her appearances on the runway this past Fashion Month have been impressive. She has walked for Chloé, Savage x Fenty, Gabriela Hearst, and Prabal Gurung, and became the first Indigenous woman to walk for Chanel.
Chasinghorse has now landed the cover of ELLE’s December/January Issue.
The model has distinctive face tattoos that are given traditionally “between the ages of 12 and 14 to mark a girls passage into womanhood.”
She told the magazine that she was apprehensive to receive the face-ink until she got older.
Quannah wanted to wait so she could defend the tattoos “because I knew that if people knew I got [it] younger, they wouldn’t have accepted me. Like, ‘A 12-year-old with a tattoo on her face?’”
The vertical lines down Chasinghorse’s chin represent a reclamation of a culture once shamed.
When the model isn’t walking catwalks, she uses her platform to advocate for change.
“I grew my platform through my advocacy work, through being a land and water protector and showing up,” she reflects “That’s what got me attention and started my career. Being able to live my dream and continue that important work is all I could ever ask for.”
Chasinghorse notes how Indigenous people do not get enough recognition for their culture and the work that they do.
“There are always Indigenous people showing up, doing the work, and I don’t think we get enough recognition… Our voices are constantly being pushed away because people don’t take us seriously.”
She shared a number of images from the shoot and thanked the team for “having me and uplifting my work as a model but also as an advocate and protector.”
“It’s truly an honour and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to tell a story, represent, and grace the cover of a magazine. It means so much, not only to just me but also indigenous people all over that feel unseen.”
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