Muskwa mostos kesigok iskew is my spirit name, which roughly translates as bear buffalo northern lights woman. I was given the French name Lynette La Fontaine by my parents at birth, Richard La Fontaine (Métis) and LeEtta La Fontaine (née Poirier). I am a Métis visual artist with roots in northern Saskatchewan, as well as the historic Métis community of Red River settlement and Nehiyaw community of Norway House. I grew up on the traditional, unceded Dakelh territory of the Stella’ten and now currently resides in the traditional Lekwungun (Tsarlip and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations). My work is inspired by connection to land, heart, spirit, ancestors and teachings from Elders and knowledge holders. With the intent to honour these connections, I utilize my preferred mediums of traditional and contemporary beadwork, mixed media, traditional materials such as porcupine quills, reindeer/ moose/ elk hair, white fish scales, and hide, as well as acrylic painting and fabrics. I aspire to continue to gather the skills and knowledge of traditional Métis art forms, such as horse hair wrapping, quill work, moose hair embroidery, and hollow hair tufting and sculpting, through self-study and knowledge transfer by master knowledge holders. In turn, reciprocating the transfer of knowledge to others, informally and formally.
Métis people are known as otipemisiwak; the meaning translates to being the boss of ourselves or the free people. One can take this teaching to empower the strength residing in all of us. We are also known as Michif (the language we speak), apihtowkosisan (half son in Nehiyaw), halfbreed, and bois brulée. We were nicknamed the ‘flower beadwork people’ by our Lakota relations due to our densely floral beadwork on all our clothing and accessories, including jackets, gun sacks, fire bags, dog tuppies, horse blankets, moccasins, leggings and so much more. We love to show our Métis pride by wearing embellished and beaded items. I often create contemporary wearable beadwork in the form of earrings, bracelets, and moccasins, incorporating fur, hide, semi precious stones, and porcupine quills. No part of animals are wasted, therefore much of our artwork includes animal gifts we cannot consume.
|2019||Otipemisiwak, Omineca Arts Centre, Prince George, BC, CAN|
|2021||Breath: II, Art Gallery of Guelph, Guelph, ON, CAN|
|2021||On Beaded Ground, UVic Legacy Art Gallery, Victoria, BC, CAN|
|2019/2020||Trajectories, Two Rivers Gallery, Regional Outreach Exhibition, Prince George, BC, CAN|
|2019||Yəhaẃ Show, Seattle,WA, USA|
|2018||Art of the Matter: Finding our Way, Studio 2880, Prince George, BC, CAN|
|2018||Weaving Words Visual Storytelling, Omineca Arts Center, Prince George, BC, CAN|
|2017||Art as Memory, Prince George Public Library, BC, CAN|
|2016||Artivism, UNBC Rotunda Gallery, Prince George, BC, CAN|
|2015||Honouring Indigenous Women, UNBC Rotunda Gallery, Prince George, BC, CAN|
- Digital Art theory and application
- 2019 - 10 day intensive hide tanning mentorship in Prince George, BC.
- 2007 - Previous knowledge sharing for caribou hair tufting.
- Mentored in the art of whitefish scales
- Mentored in the art of whitefish scales
- Formal mentorship for knowledge transfer of Métis specific beading skills and history, as well as low and high moccasin making.
- Knowledge transfer of traditional art and practices, plant knowledge, and language
- Week long intensive traditional art teachings of birch bark making, caribou hair tufting, beading, and drum making.
Lectures and/or Teaching
|2020||Beading and moccasin making workshop to RMMA virtually|
|2019||Beading workshop, Old Massett, Haida Gwaii, BC, CAN|
|2019||Formal beading mentorship provided to Carly Nabess, Prince George, BC, CAN|
|2019||Beading and moccasin making workshop to Stellat’en Nation, BC, CAN|
|2019||Beading workshop, Two Rivers Gallery, Prince George, BC, CAN|
|2019||Beading workshop, Omineca Arts Centre, Prince George, BC, CAN|
|2019||Beading workshop, Old Masset, Haida Gwaii, BC, CAN|
|2018||Moccasin Making workshops; Old Masset, Haida Gwaii, BC, CAN|
|2017||Omineca Arts Centre: Prince George, BC CAN: Lecture and sharing of practice with Emily Carr|
|2017||Métis Beading and Moccasin Making Workshop; Prince George, BC, CAN; FPCC funded; Lecture and teaching.|
|2019||Indigenous Summer Arts Program, Royal BC Museum, Victoria, BC, CAN|
|2019||Beading as Medicine; UNBC, Prince George, CAN: Aboriginal Alumni Speaker Series|
|2018||Tea ‘n Bannock ‘n Beads; Prince George Public Library, CAN: Artist Talk|
|2018||CBC Radio; Prince George, CAN|
Awards and Grants
|2020||Individual Artist Award, First Peoples’ Cultural Council, $10,000|
|2019||Sharing Traditional Art Across Generations, First Peoples’ Cultural Council, $12,000|
|2018||Emerging Artist Award, First Peoples’ Cultural Council, $5000|
|2017||Sharing Traditional Art Across Generations, First Peoples’ Cultural Council, $11,900|
|2016||Emerging Artist Award, First Peoples’ Cultural Council, $5000|
|2019||Seattle Public Utilities|
|2018||Prince George Aboriginal Housing Society|
Media and Bibliography
|2019||Inuit Art Quarterly: 2019 Special Issue: Venice Biennale - Sungaujait: The Links Between Inuit and Venetians by Krista Ulujuk Zawadski|
|2019||Two Rivers Art Gallery, Regional Outreach Exhibition, Trajectories|
|2018||Prince George Citizen, July 11, 2018|