My work is process driven, which includes learning, preparing and using traditional materials, designing, making colour choices, and so much more. My work is inspired by the land, dreams, visions, teachings, community, and ancestor work. Stories, both personal and collective, infuse my process . I listen to my intuition and the agency of the materials and pieces to guide my decisions. I am always open to changes along my journey to completing an art piece in my beading and traditional materials practice, mixed media and paintings.
Three main themes guide my work - healing, Metis culture, and gifts, which includes the ones I carry and the knowledge shared by Elders and knowledge holders.
The process of creating is healing for me, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. This is at the center of my work and practice. Creating helps me feel grounded and connected to my culture, ancestors, family, land, and Creator. I listen to how I am feeling and thinking. I was taught to create when I am not feeling too much sadness or anger as this energy will be transferred to the piece. Every piece I make teaches me something about myself. Working with traditional materials from plants, animals, and fish is very special. The materials hold the essence and energy of those once living things. I do my best to be ethical and respectful to these beings and the land from how and where I harvest and source the materials.
Metis culture is embedded in my work. We are known as the flower beadwork people. The ancestor floral designs featuring specific elements and the materials used are inspirational teachers. I draw from my lived experiences growing up on the land, hunting and fishing, gardening and harvesting, playing, observing, and listening. I talk and listen to Elders, knowledge holders and community members. Connecting to Metis art forms that are land based and spiritual is crucial to Metis culture expression, revitalization and maintenance. Each art form takes many years to learn.
I am committed to a lifelong journey of learning via mentorships and self study, and passing on what I learn. I was taught our knowledge is nothing if we do not share it. I have been asking other Métis knowledge holders, artists, and Elders to share about Métis art forms, such as tufting (using moose/ elk/ caribou/ reindeer hair), hide tanning, and whitefish scales. These teachings, received from others, are gifts. I am so grateful to those who have said yes in sharing their knowledge and time with me.
I wish to highlight, my mom has gifted me with an immense amount of knowledge, both artistically and spiritually. She is my lifelong mentor.
nanaskoumitin mistahi thank you so much for your interest in my art practice. Being here means so much to me.
All My Relations.