Like most Northerners, our family proudly wears fur. My parents, Jane and David Dragon raised six children, always dressed with furs from the trapline. Mom made the hats, mittens, mukluks, and parkas, Setsuné (grandmother in Dënesųłiné) is a talented seamstress and has been sewing with furs and hides most of her life. A few of her very special garments have been displayed in a Northern gallery in the Canadian Museum of History.
Aurora Heat, Inc. makes its home in the small town of Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories. We employ Northerners (mostly young adults) in the production of our warmers. My son, Joel, and niece, Bryanna, are among Aurora Heat's employees and I love working with both of them. Setsuné is Aurora Heat's Cultural Advisor and her favourite greeting is łThá huná ~ May you live a long time! Together, we want to bring you our traditional way of keeping warm.
Since starting this company, Elders have shared their stories of the long-ago practice of stuffing fur in mitts and mukluks. In the old days, it was rabbit fur which was easily accessible. Modern tanning and newer methods of processing fur helped us choose sheared beaver for its durability and cloud-like softness.
As an Indigenous person, I am wholly committed to nature and a dedicated steward of the environment. I love creating and sharing natural and sustainable products, especially these ones that replace disposables. In our workshop at the end of each day, there is a no garbage in a bin; we use all pieces of each and every pelt.
An authentic connection with the land is made when we look to nature to provide for our basic needs. It is this world view that helped us to come up with our company's vision, "Living in harmony with the natural world."
Fur is part of our family's history, and we are delighted to share it with you.
Dënesųłiné – pronounced: Den-nay-sloot-lin-ay - formerly known as the Chipewyan language
detł'ogh nedhël – pronounced: ah-raw nay-thawl – fur warmth
łThá huná – pronounced: Thow-woo-nah – may you live a long time