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Indigenous beadwork

Bree Harris, beaded logo artist

“I always smudge before I start to bead. And say a prayer. It’s important to give thanks for my gift to create beautiful things.”

Bree Harris, a member of Thunderchild First Nation in Turtleford, Saskatchewan, creates beautiful and intricate beadwork pieces: medallions, beaded sets for regalia, earrings, moccasins and more. But Bree’s beading story didn’t originate from a beautiful place. She first took up beading in 2010 because of an abusive partner. It was safer for Bree to stay home and not go out much, so she started beading. “It helped me survive emotionally and mentally.”

Since moving on from that relationship, Bree has become a proficient beader, including teaching her kids. “They danced when they were little, and I was able to help them make their own regalia – leggings and moccasins.”

When creating her version of the Petro-Canada logo, Bree took a lot of inspiration from the colour and the shape of the current logo. “I created the wave design so that it would have more texture and feel more dynamic. And put it on the tan border to give it some space. The border is a brown suede. The logo is made from size 9 cut beads. And the edging is made from seed beads.”

Bree believes our beaded logo project is a great opportunity.

But Bree notes that efforts towards reconciliation need to go even further by Petro-Canada and other organizations. “Indigenous people and communities are looking for organizations and people they can trust. Trust is built through actions. Actions like helping to raise awareness of important issues like MMIWG and the ‘Every Child Matters’ movement. Even just showing up to support Indigenous events is a positive step towards reconciliation. Come to a powwow. Support other events. The important thing is to show up and be seen.”

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