About us

My Name is Catharine L. Chalmers. I am from a small town called Metlakatla, a remote island in Southeast Alaska, known as Annette Island. My heritage is Tsimshian, Sioux & French. My strongest heritage is Tsimshian and is from both of my parents, my Father was full blooded Tsimshian and My Mother is Tsimshian, Sioux & French.

I started learning to create Native Art from Jack Hudson in 1989. I’ve been creating Native Art for over 29 years. 5 years ago, I learned how to develop my art digitally and decided it was time to start my new journey by creating an online small business called NUGADA DESIGNS in 2015. We offer a variety of products that I can place my Digital Native Art on.  

How NUGADA’s name was created & why I am proud to use it. My family & friends would call me this and never really knew where my nickname came from. I finally asked my dad who made my nickname and He said he did. So here is a snapshot of our conversation when I asked him what NUGADA meant….

Me: What does Nugada mean? Dad: Well you know when a parent plays with their kid to get them to smile or giggle.

Me: Yeah

Dad: When you were a baby I tried all kinds of sounds to get you to smile and when I said Nugada you smiled.

Me: So, like a parent bonding with their child? Dad: Yeah, you could say that. Your dimples would show real big too.

Me: Dad, I want to start a business and was wondering if I can use it for my business name… What you think?

Dad: Kooo Cat, (Chuckles) Yeah, if you want too. (Smiling)


My nickname means the bond created between parent and child. The sound/bond he created with me turned into my nickname. I will forever be grateful for where my name derived from and hope my share will spark memories of your loved ones who created nicknames for you! Pronounced: NUG-GAH-DAH (NUGADA)