Join Claire Johnston on Louis Riel Day to reflect and honour the legacy of Louis Riel and the strong spirit of the Métis People.
Claire will host a beading workshop and guide participants in making a Métis-style beaded cardholder. She will share about her family’s connection to working with their hands and speak about the history and importance of Métis beadwork. Join Claire for a cup of tea, a warm heart, and busy hands.
Claire Johnston(she/they) is a Métis beadworker based in her Homeland of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Claire’s family has scrip in St. Andrews and St. Clements, Manitoba and some of her family names include Johnston, Richards, Moore/Moar, Truthwaite, Brown and Thomas.
Claire has worked with her hands since she was a child, learning leather working, woodworking and other skills from her father Roy Johnston. She is currently advancing her bead working skills under the mentorship of Jennine Krauchi as part of the Mentoring Artists for Women’s Arts 2022/2023 Foundation Mentorship Program. Her work has been exhibited at both the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver, BC and Tangled Arts in Toronto, ON.
Claire’s beadwork practice is informed by the strengthening of relationships — with herself, her kin and the natural world. As an Autistic beadworker, her love of bright colours and attention to detail allow for vibrant and intricate pieces. Claire believes strongly in “cripping” the arts and expanding accessibility for Disabled and low-income Indigenous artists to thrive. She is a steering committee member for the Critical Autism Summit that will take place in Manitoba in 2024, where she will host beading circles to facilitate discussions on decolonizing understandings of Autism and neurodiversity.
Claire is a novice hide tanner and enjoys learning traditional skills alongside her kin in Red River Echoes, a Métis collective based in Manitoba. Claire is a member of the MMF Two-Spirit Michif Local and volunteers with Agoojin Volleyball Club.