Amy Denet Deal Selected for CNN’s Champions For Change

Native Max CEO Kelly Holmes sat down with the upcycle fashion designer to discuss the short film and all of her projects that support the betterment of Indian Country.
Photography: Wade Adakai



Amy Denet Deal’s life and work were showcased through CNN’s Champions For Change short-film project. According to CNN, this series highlights the innovators, changemakers, and pioneers who are challenging the status quo to improve the lives of others. View the film here.

Amy Denet Deal (Diné) was selected for the project thanks to her many endeavors that benefit the Native community, specifically the Two Grey Hills region in San Juan County, New Mexico.

With a professional background in activewear for a major corporation, Amy took her 35 years of experience and applied it in ways that better align with her values and identity. Having been adopted by a white family and displaced from her Native roots, 4KINSHIP has been quite the therapeutic endeavor.

4KINSHIP is an upcycled and sustainable fashion brand that Amy created in 2015. Wanting to practice what she preaches to her daughter, she quit the fast-fashion game and found new ways to create the art and fashion she loves.

In 2019, after her daughter had grown up and left the house, she moved to New Mexico to reconnect with her culture and people. At first, Amy had a hard time adjusting.

Photography: Oliver Halpin

“It wasn’t easy because there wasn’t anyone here to really teach you how to do that. Like how does a displaced Native come back to their community when no one taught them anything? You’re just like googling stuff all the time, trying to figure stuff out. I remember the first time Kim Smith taught me how to tie my moccasins – just simple stuff like that.” – Amy Denet Deal for Native Max Magazine, 2024.

With her experience working in a corporate setting, she knows how to create something big with great benefits. From marketing to funding, Amy had a dream and set it into motion.

That dream was skateparks. As an avid skateboarder herself, she wanted to build skateparks throughout Indian Country. Skateboarding helps Native kids become active, happy, and healthy. It encourages them to build community, support, and friendships, all while enjoying the Earth.

Photography: Oliver Halpin

Her work isn’t done yet. To learn more about Amy’s journey, story, and future endeavors, visit her website, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

Watch Native Max TV: Q&A with Quannah Chasinghorse