AMY WILLIER AWARD FOR INDIGENOUS ARTISANS – Winner 2021

Metis Beading

by Willow Rose Beads

Made in Spruce Grove

$40 to $150

@willowrosebeads

When Jocelyn Lamothe first started beading in 2017, she immediately felt a connection to the heritage of the practice. But she never imagined how important her beading practice would come to be in her life. “I found the practice of beading to be relaxing and, because of that, also healing,” says Lamothe. “It quickly became a beautiful doorway into learning family stories and history as I talked with aunties and new friends in beading circles.”

Metis beading is a traditional artform recognizable by its colourful and floral designs. The beading method uses glass beads applied to traditional clothing, hides or cloth. Lamothe notes that each of her pieces helps celebrate and share her culture. To give back the same support she received, Lamothe sources her beading materials from other Indigenous-owned businesses and artists from Canada.

As her beading skill and collection grew, Lamothe decided to turn her work into a business and began Willow Rose Beads at the start of 2021. Now Lamothe sells her pieces online, through Instagram, at markets and through word of mouth. Each piece celebrates floral elements, but is otherwise unique.

While each piece has become a favourite in its own way, it’s still her very first piece, which she gave away, that left its founding mark. “[It is] special in a way that no other piece is. I continue to learn with each piece, but that first project holds the memory of my first beading circle, teachings and the inspiration to continue,” she says.

This new category honours the memory of Amy Willier — co-owner of Moonstone Creation, Indigenous Knowledge Keeper and artist — who passed away earlier this year. We are honoured to continue Willier’s legacy of promoting Indigenous makers with this award.

Photograph: Jared Sych   |   Writer: Michaela Ream

2021 AMY WILLIER AWARD FOR INDIGENOUS ARTISANS WINNER AND RUNNERS-UP

Made in Alberta Awards

The Made in Alberta Awards celebrate great Alberta products, businesses and ingenuity. By highlighting Alberta-made products through a variety of channels, including digital, in print and in person, the Made in Alberta Awards program supports and promotes local businesses and encourages people to shop local.

Proudly made in Alberta.

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