Stitching with Stories: Learning to Bead Through Embodied Knowledge


  • Madison Francoeur MacEwan University


I have created beadwork that reflects my embodied knowledge and allows me to connect with my Métis culture. I have spent the semester exploring the history of Métis beadwork with guidance from strong Indigenous women, who are proud of their heritage and have graciously shared their knowledge and skills with me. Through their teaching, I have learned how I can use beadwork as both an artistic outlet and as a way to feel more connected to my culture. I use my beadwork to reflect on my family’s heritage and the pieces I create are connected to loved ones, be it through the design or the function of the piece. I work with a vibrant rainbow of seed beads on various materials to create organic patterns. I emulate traditional beadwork and samples of my family’s work while adding my own design elements that reflect my experiences as I reconnect with my Métis roots. There are four pieces to my display. Firstly, a five-petal flower pin, the first piece of beadwork that I made for this project, highlights the growth that I have experienced. Secondly, a pair of bridal earrings made for my good friend’s wedding. Thirdly, a pair of moccasin vamps that I recreated, based on a design made by my great grandmother.

Finally, a decorative piece that serves as a cumulative reflection of both the skills that I have learned and the stories that I have learned.

Department: Arts and Cultural Management

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Heather Fitzsimmons-Frey





Arts and Cultural Management