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Weston x Smartwool x Natives Outdoors - Available Now - Skis, Snowboards and Socks

November 1, 2022

Weston Backcountry has teamed up with Vernan Kee, Smartwool and Natives Outdoors to channel thousands of years of Navajo mountain vibes into a single collection of skis, snowboards, and socks. The collaboration celebrates indigenous art and supports the Wood For Life Tribal Fuelwood Initiative through the National Forest Foundation. 

The Mission Series: Built With Purpose -
Weston X Vernon Kee

MINTURN, COLORADO November 1, 2022 – Weston Backcountry announces the launch of its Mission Series; products built with purpose that tell individual stories through art and also forge partnerships with nonprofits to give back to the community at large. The first collaboration to coincide with the 10th Anniversary season of Weston will be with Diné Navajo artist Vernan Kee.

Kee’s artwork for the series draws inspiration from traditional Navajo art representations of the red-tailed hawk (Atseeltsoi) with a modern lens and will be featured on the Ridgeline solid, Ridgeline Split and ALL NEW Skyline skis. About the design, Kee had this to say,

“Feathers of the Red-tailed Hawk are used in ceremonies by Navajo medicine men and the bird is respected and honored by the Navajo People. Also known for being fast and precise, their feathers were tied to arrows so they flew true without mistakes. The speed and precise movements of skiers/snowboarders reminded me of Red-tailed hawks soaring down to catch prey.”

Through the collaboration with Vernan Kee, Weston is evolving its partnership with the National Forest Foundation and their commitment to 1% for the Planet, as part of an ongoing effort by Weston to be good stewards of the land.

Through this partnership with the National Forest Foundation, Weston will join the U.S. Forest Service, Tribal governments and communities as well as local partners to support Wood for Life Tribal Fuelwood Initiative. This program helps responsibly utilize small diameter timber from forest restoration programs to help provide fuel for stoves and heat on indigenous reservations. Weston will donate $10,000 to help fund the expansion of the program into southern Colorado. This is a cause close to Vernan Kee, as he has personally spent time helping transport wood to elders and members of his community.

Marketing Manager Sean Eno is thrilled to see this collaboration come to fruition saying,

“In January of 2020, we connected with Connor Ryan and Len Necifer of Natives Outdoors through our network of family and friends, establishing a lasting relationship that led to working with Vernan Kee and the stellar graphics for the 22/23 line.”

Weston has a strong commitment to the people and places connected to the backcountry community and being stewards of the land is an integral component to this. Weston recognizes that the first stewards of this land were the indigenous peoples of North America. In contrast to some modern viewpoints of strict conservation or strict resource extraction, the indigenous communities in the US have a long history of striving for a harmonious balance between using the land’s resources to live, while simultaneously ensuring it thrives for future generations. This is a model that Wood For Life reflects, and Weston seeks to emulate.
About Weston
Since 2012, we at Weston have been building bomber splitboards, skis & snowboards, loving Mother Earth, fostering community, supporting important causes, spreading backcountry education, dirt bagging, slaying pow, and chasing freedom. Led by a crew that believes friends do in fact exist on a powder day, our objective is to bring powder to the people.
About Vernan Kee
Vernan Kee is a Native American (Diné) artist from the Navajo Nation. He graduated with a Bachelors in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of California-San Diego and works as a freelance designer. He is a VanLifer, a dog dad, a USMC veteran and he specializes in typography, illustration, branding, web and print design. Vernon credits Mother Nature for helping him overcome the struggles of his youth. When he isn’t making art, he focuses his time and energy educating himself and others about traditional native lands to respect these sacred places and be a positive influence on the next generation.

"Designing is my Passion. I am constantly inspired by my surroundings and feel very fortunate to have found something I enjoy this much and be able to make it a career. "
About Natives Outdoors
A Native-Owned Athletic and Creative Collective
Our mission is simple: We are in business to empower Indigenous communities through our products and storytelling for a sustainable world.
About National Forest Foundation
The National Forest Foundation works on behalf of the American public to inspire personal and meaningful connections to our National Forests. By directly engaging Americans and leveraging private and public funding, the NFF leads forest conservation efforts and promotes responsible recreation. Each year the NFF restores fish and wildlife habitat, facilitates common ground, plants trees in areas affected by fires, insects and disease, and improves recreational opportunities. The NFF believes our National Forests and all they offer are an American treasure and are vital to the health of our communities. Learn more at
About Wood For Life
Wood for Life (WFL) is a collaborative program, comprised of a network of organizations in northern Arizona working to achieve common goals. The primary goals are to provide resources and a sustainable source of firewood to local tribes through forest restoration efforts; to reduce forest-wide fuels; and to foster and strengthen partner relationships. WFL’s vision is to facilitate the delivery of a sustainable and substantial amount of firewood to tribal partners from forest restoration projects on NFS lands. The WFL program connects wood from forest restoration projects with local tribal communities in need of firewood for heating, cooking, and traditional uses. The project seeks to address two very different—but both critically important—needs. It facilitates the removal of small trees and biomass from NFS lands while simultaneously providing tribal neighbors with firewood.