The MÃ©tis used colorful seed beads to create vibrant beaded flowers, which made them known as the “flower beading people”.
Wikjord says that with practice, the process has become second nature to her.
“It’s almost meditative for me,” says Wikjord. “Once I’m in the groove, I can listen to music or podcasts and it’s really calming for me.”
Over the past two years, Wikjord has taught herself the intricacies of the art style and learned her story, something she wants to share with non-Mestizos.
âI think in our education system, we’re not taught enough about Aboriginal and MÃ©tis heritage,â says Wickjord. “I think it’s very important for everyone to know that because everyone lives here on the land that we all share.”
During a MÃ©tis beadwork workshop at the Police Point Park Interpretive Center, Wikjord shared MÃ©tis history, the history of flower beadwork and taught participants how to bead their own flower.
Dreyden Williams attended the workshop with his mom. He also has MÃ©tis heritage and says learning the art form has helped him learn more about his family.
“I bead flowers for a bag,” Williams said. “I learned that people do this as a tradition.”
Jolaine Rayner brought along her daughter, Juna Stuber, to learn about the history and get hands-on styling instruction.
“I’m helping Juna with some of the beading, but she’s really enjoying the process, choosing the colors and putting the beads on the string,” Rayner said. “We learned a lot today and the story she explained was really well done.”
Deanna Decelle was there to deepen her own understanding of the cultural pillar.
“I taught my kids a lot about Indigenous history, so I thought it would be good to learn something myself,” Decelle said.
Wikjord hopes that by teaching others to bead, knowledge of MÃ©tis history and its unique art form will continue to spread.
âI want them to take a little more knowledge of the MÃ©tis and the history out of it,â says Wikjord. “And learning a new art form is really fun. Then they can show other people and share that knowledge.