portrait by @nalakwsis
yowtz, lisa kelasu nugwa. geegitsog nugwa, hello my name is lisa I am in beaver clan. I am mixed First Nations (Haisla/British) from Kitimat, BC currently living as an an uninvited guest on the territories of the Kwikwetlem Nation
After obtaining my BFA in Photography from Emily Carr, I spent almost a decade working for a colonial bureaucratic organization as their “reconciliation” element. It was damaging to my health physically, mentally and spiritually. In early 2019 it became impossible for me to continue this job, and I returned to beading, a skill I learned in my early 20’s from a woman from Six Nations. Beading became a way for me to untangle this trauma, and slowly start to change my path. It is now my main source of income and I do it everyday.
Beading is medicine for me, and is a real attempt towards decolonizing my life. I am learning my language, Haislakala, and use this as inspiration to name my pieces. I often think about the word as I’m beading, repeating it in my head, writing it and it’s meaning on the earring card after. It helps me to really learn words.
For me, beading is about counting, breathing, processing and expressing myself. It now helps me to process intergenerational trauma and resilience, as I can think and reflect on all that is going on inside me that is connected to my Ancestors.
I love to share my pieces with the world, and have sold over 300 pairs and mailed them as far as Australia. I am also using my beading as my art practice, and successfully received a grant to create my project called Beaded Memories. You can view it here on my website!
I find so much peace and reflection in beading, and hope that you enjoy looking at my creations!
(photo and earrings by Olivya Leblanc aka Harvest Moon Designs)
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisa-walker/
My photography website: lisawalking.com