Born for the A:shiwi, Ralámuli, and Yoeme tribes, Tomás Karmelo Amaya co-owns a creative agency and production company named KANION (@kanionpro), founded in 2018, with his wife Siera Begaye (@siera.amaya). He is also a creative director, film director, writer, visual artist, and wellness educator whose work focuses on creating opportunities for healing by embracing intentionality and Indigenous teachings. He was raised in West Phoenix, AZ on the ancestral homelands of The O’odham, Yavapai, Piipaash, and Yaqui tribes.
His work has been published in Vogue, The LA Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Complex among several others. His client work includes collaborations with Born x Raised, Nike, Apple, Levi’s and Adobe. In addition to his roles as a creative professional, he also is a facilitator/trainer with The Native Wellness Institute, a non-profit who works to heal communities from the lasting impacts of intergeneration and historical trauma.
“When we think of visual medicine, we think of healing through stories. There’s intentionality, there’s a healthy collaboration with those that we work and co-create with. There’s that element of not only being trauma-informed but, as my mentor Jillene Joseph from The Native Wellness Institute explains, ‘we can be healing-informed as well.”