Louie Gong is an educator, activist, and artist who was raised by his grandparents in the Nooksack tribal community. He is the past President of MAVIN, co-developer of the Mixed Heritage Center, and a former child and family therapist. Louie is also the founder of Eighth Generation, through which he merges traditional Coast Salish art and icons from popular culture to make strong statements about identity — such as his highly sought-after, hand-drawn custom shoes. Louie’s latest creation is called “Mockups”, a DIY design toy based on his work with youth and his desire to a make the experience of personalizing a pair of shoes more accessible.
Louie is proud to have represented his family and community through keynote level presentations and custom shoe workshops around the world, as well as in media such as NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, MSNBC.com, and Indian Country Today. His unique merger of art and activism is the subject of UNRESERVED: the work of Louie Gong, a Longhouse Media film that has screened at prestigious film festivals around the world, including Festival De Cannes and National Geographic’s All Roads Film Festival.