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Bibliography of Metis Beadwork

Barkwell, Lawrence. Metis Beadwork: Characteristics and Design. Winnipeg: Louis Riel
Institute, 2017.

Barth, Georg J. Native American Beadwork: Traditional Beading Techniques for the Modern-
Day Bead-worker. Foreword by Bill Holm. Stevens Point: R. Schneider Publishers., 1993

Belcourt, Christi. Beadwork: First Peoples Beading History and Techniques. Owen Sound:
Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2010.

Blady, Sharon. The Flower Beadwork People: Factors Contributing to the Emergence of a
Distinctive Mtis Culture and Artistic Style at Red River from 1844 to 1969. Victoria,
British Columbia: M.A. Thesis, University of Victoria, 1995.

Blady, Sharon.Beadwork as an Expression of Mtis Cultural Identity. In Jill Oakes and Rick
Riewe (Editors): Issues in the North, Volume I. Occasional Publication # 40. Calgary:
Canadian Circumpolar Institute, 1996: 133-144.

Brasser, Ted J. Mtis Artisans: Their Teachers and Their Pupils. The Beaver, Outfit 306 (2)
Autumn 1975: 52-57.

Brasser, Ted J. Bojou Neejee: Profiles of Canadian Indian Art. Ottawa: National Museum of
Man, the National Museums of Canada, 1976.

Brasser reviews the changes to the material culture of Indians and Mtis as the fur
trade centres moved westward. He includes photographic depictions of SiouxMtis, Cree-
Mtis, Northwest Territories Mtis and Red River Mtis quill and beadwork styles. Of the
floral decoration style he says:
In the hands of the Mtis women the style acquired a quality rivalled only by that of the
Huron in the East. Frequently emerging from the hearts or discs, the bilaterally symmetrical
plant designs consisted of fine, curving stems and sparsely distributed delicate leaves.
Three such leaves together usually took the place of flowers at the extremities of the stems.
Another characteristic feature was the large number of different colours used in a single
composition without being garish. The impression of the style is that of sparkling
delicacy (p. 47).

He also comments on the mislabelling of Mtis design and craftwork:Another pouch type
developed among the Mtis was the so-called octopus pouch, decorated with four long
tabs at the bottom ... in museum collections they go under all sorts of tribal names, but
their Mtis origin is rarely recognized. The same is true for most other craftwork of the
Red River Mtis. Yet, these people made large quantities of highly decorated skin coats,
pouches, moccasins sand horse gear, which they traded all over the northern and central

Brasser, Ted J. In Search of Mtis Art. In J. Peterson and J.S.H. Brown (Editors): The New
Peoples: Being and Becoming Mtis in North America. Winnipeg: University of
Manitoba Press, 1985: 221-229.

Brasser reviews Mtis art and its cultural significance. He traces the linkages of
artistic materials to particular Mtis communities and associated Catholic missions. He
notes that Mtis traders distributed the products of Mtis artisans widely and that their
artistic style became even more dispersed than the Mtis people themselves. He points out
that many museums have mislabelled this artwork under a variety of tribal names.

Brasser, Ted J By the Power of Their Dreams: Artistic Traditions of the Northern Plains. In
Glenbow Alberta Institute, The Spirit Sings: Artistic Traditions of Canadas First
Peoples. Calgary and Toronto: Glenbow Museum and McClelland and Stewart, 1987: 93-

Duncan, Kate C. The Mtis and the Production of Embroidery in the Subarctic. The
Museum of the Fur Trade Quarterly, 17 (3), Fall 1981: 1-7.

Duncan, Kate C. Bead Embroidery of the Northern Athapaskans: Style, Design, Evolution
and Transfer. Ph. D. Thesis, University of Washington, 1982.

Duncan, Kate C. So Many Bags, So Little Known: Reconstructing the Patterns of Evolution
and Distribution of Two Algonquian Bag Forms. Arctic Anthropology, Vol. 28 (1), 1991:
Duncan, Kate C. Northern Athapaskan Art: A Beadwork Tradition. Toronto: Douglas &
McIntyre, 1989.

Many of the Hudsons Bay Company employees in the Athapaskan territory were Mtis
or European and had married Cree or Mtis women. These women who held high social
position in their communities had a great influence on the form and design of Athapaskan
clothing and beadwork.

Duncan, Kate C. With Eunice Carney. A Special Gift: The Kutchin Beadwork Tradition.
University of Washington Press, 1998.

Green, Richard. Eastern Sioux and Red River Metis Beadwork. Whispering Wind, Spring,
1989: 4-8.

Johnson, Gary Wayne. The Art of Porcupine Quillwork and the Metis, In Metis Legacy,
Volume Two: Michif Culture, Heritage and Folkway, L. J. Barkwell, L.M. Dorion and A.
Hourie (Eds.) Saskatoon, Gabriel Dumont Institute, Winnipeg: Pemmican Publications,

Johnson, Gary Wayne.Quill and Beadwork. Browning, Montana: U.S. Dept. of the Interior,
Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Museum of the Plains Indian and Crafts Center, 1980.

Penney, David. "Chippewa Beaded Shoulder Bags" Bags of Friendship: Bandolier Bags of
the Great Lakes Indians, Morning Star Gallery, 1996

Racette, Sherry Farrell. The Flower Beadwork People: People, Places and Stories of the Mtis.
Regina: Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research, 1991.

This is a wonderful introduction to Mtis history for primary readers. It is a social

history containing twenty-eight vibrantly illustrated images. This book allows children to
easily comprehend how Mtis people lived in the 1800s. Like other books printed about
Aboriginal people until recently, this book mentions Indians and not the more
contemporary and politically correct First Nations in its text. Any future editions will
likely make these semantic changes. Sherry has also provided illustrations for the childrens
book, Wisahkecahk Flies to the Moon (written by Freda Ahenakew, Winnipeg: Pemmican
Publishers, 1999).
Professor Racette (BFA, M.Ed., Ph.D.) is an Algonquin-Michif artist, writer and teacher.
Most recently Racette created the art installation Metis Rights Niche We Are Not Birds at
the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. She is a participating artist and Lead Curatorial
and Installation Advisor for Walking With Our Sisters, an installation art project of 1,700
pairs of moccasin tops or vamps commemorating and representing an estimated 824
Aboriginal women and girls who have been murdered or gone missing in Canada since 1961.

Racette, Sherry Farrell.The Continuing Problematic of Mtis Inclusion in Museum

Representation. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for
Ethnohistory. Mashantucket, Connecticut: October 20-23, 1999.

Racette, Sherry Farrell The Problemization of Mtis Identity: Theoretical/Historical

Questions and Personal Reflections. Proceedings of the Ruperts Land Colloquium 2000.
Vancouver, Washington, May 25, 2000.

Racette, Sherry Farrell Beads, Silk and Quills: The Clothing and Decorative Arts of the Metis.
In Lawrence Bark-well, Darren Prefontaine and Leah Dorion (Eds.) Metis Legacy: A Metis
Historiography and Annotated Bibliography. Winnipeg: Pemmican Publications and Louis
Riel Institute, 2001: 181-187.

Racette, Sherry Farrell Twenty Hunters Mounted on Their Best Steeds: Asserting Collective
Identity, Claiming Metis Territory. Paper presented at Resistance and Convergence:
Francophone and Mtis Strategies of Identity in Western Canada. Regina, Saskatchewan:.
October 20-23, 2005.

Racette, Sherry Farrell. Beading is My Joy: Mtis Artists, Making and Meaning, Cahiers
mtiers dart / Craft Journal Vol.1, No.1, Summer 2007: 48-68.

Racette, Sherry Farrell. Sewing for a Living: the Commodification of Mtis Womens
Artistic Production. In Katie Pickeles and Myra Rutherdale (Eds.), Contact Zones:
Aboriginal and Settler Women in Canadas Colonial Past,. Vancouver: University of
British Columbia Press, 2005.

Racette, Sherry Farrell. Looking for Stories and Unbroken Threads: Museum Artifacts as
Women's History and Cultural Legacy. In Eric Guimond, Gail Guthrie Valaskakis, and

Madeleine Dion Stout (Eds.) Restoring the Balance: First Nations Women, Community,
and Culture. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2009.

Racette, Sherry Farrell. My Grandmothers Loved to Trade: the Indigenization of European

Trade Goods in Northern Algonquian Material Culture. Journal of the Museum
Ethnography Vol. 20, March 2008: 69-81.

Racette, Sherry Farrell. Nimble Fingers, Strong Backs: First Nations and Mis Women in Fur
Trade and Rural Economies. In Carol Williams and Joan Sangster (Eds.) Women at
Work: Transnational Histories of Indigenous Womens Labour in the Modern Era.
Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2010.

Racette, Sherry Farrell. Sewing for a Living: the Commodification of Mtis Womens
Artistic Production. In Mona Gleason, Adele Perry and Tamara Myers (Eds.) Rethinking
Canada: the Promise of Womens History Toronto: Oxford University Press Canada,

Sager, David. The Rose Collection of Moccasins in the Canadian Museum of Civilization:
Transitional Woodlands/Grassland Footwear. Canadian Journal of Native Studies, Vol.
14 (2), 1994: 273-304.

The attribution of material culture artifacts to particular Native groups has always been
problematic. Sager provides extensive analysis of the provenance of this moccasin
collection. He concludes that this footwear was made by one or more Saulteaux or
Saulteaux/Mtis craftworkers from the Gordon or Muscowekan Reserves (in Saskatchewan)
... I suggest they represent one example of a marginal groups reaction to the increasing
popularity of Plains style garments which was then underway, and that a local interpretation
of the old Manitoba slipper was utilized for this purpose, even if only for the purposes of
sale. (pg. 360) For comparison, Sager reviews separate-sole moccasins from the Bata Shoe
Museum in Toronto. Several have the asymmetrical floral beadwork design similar to the
popular silk embroidery theme encountered on Mtis and Cree slippers from northern Lake
Winnipeg (1890). Of particular Mtis interest is a photograph (pg. 291) of moccasins which
were family heirlooms of Ambroise Lpines descendants.

Sager, David. The Dual Side Seam: an Overlooked Moccasin. American Indian Art, Volume
21, Number 2 Spring 1996: 72-82.

Sager details an often overlooked moccasin type from the Northern Plains and
Canadian Grasslands the dual side seam moccasin which survives at least from
the days of Catlin until about the early middle twentieth century.

Sager, David The Vamp and False Vamp Moccasin Decorations in the West. American
Indian Art, Volume 25, Number 2 Spring 2000: 68-75.

Scofield, Gregory and Amy Briley. With historical overview by Sherry Farrell Racette.
Wpikwaniy: A Beginners Guide to Metis Floral Beadwork. Saskatoon: Gabriel Dumont
Institute, 2011.

This book discusses supplies (beads, material, templates) choosing bead colours,
fabric backing, beading flowers, petals, leaves, stems and gives tips and tricks. The
book is accompanied by a DVD video.

Scofield, Gregory and Amy Briley. with an historic overview of moccasins by Sherry Farrell
Racette maskisina: A Guide to Northern-Style Mtis Moccasins. Saskatoon: Gabriel
Dumont Institute, 2011.

Smetzer, Megan A. Tlingit Dance Collars and Octopus Bags: Embodying Power and
Resistance, American Indian Art Magazine, Volume 34, No. 1, Winter, 2008: 64-73.

Troupe, Cheryl. Expressing Our Heritage: Mtis Artistic Designs. Saskatoon: Gabriel Dumont
Institute, 2002.

Troupe, Cheryl and Lawrence Barkwell. Metis Decorative Arts. In Metis Legacy, Volume
Two: Michif Culture, Heritage and Folkways, L. J. Barkwell, L.M. Dorion and A. Hourie
(Eds.) Saskatoon, Gabriel Dumont Institute, Winnipeg: Pemmican Publications, 2007:

Whiteford, Andrew Hunter. Floral Beadwork of the Western Great Lakes. American Indian
Art Magazine, Vol. 22, no. 4, 1997: 68-79.

Compiled by Lawrence Barkwell

Coordinator of Metis Heritage and History Research
Louis Riel Institute