My english name is Mercedes. I am from the Nisga'a Nation on my mother's side,
and African American mixed on my father's.
I started dabbling in beading in 2017 in Toronto. Being a First Nations person from the West Coast, I am used to seeing carved pieces regularly. I would occasionally see beaded work, but it was not as common. However, upon migrating to the East Coast of Canada, the exposure to beaded jewelry boomed for myself. I have always appreciated Indigenous beaded jewelry and Regalia. After first being introduced to beading, I had an even greater appreciation for all the passion, love, time, and labour that goes into creating various pieces. The more I became involved in the Indigenous community in Toronto, the more my passion and confidence grew in my capability as an artist. I continue this journey to present day, creating in Toronto ON currently, previously my community of Gingolx BC. I am so grateful that I can create, and that people want to support that creativity and wear what I've made.
That is my name translated into English from Nisga'a. It is a name that was chosen and given to me when I was young. And throughout one's life you add to that name through accomplishments and life experiences. One day I could be up for a name strengthening, or I could inherit a name someone else has carried and added so much to and my current name will be passed down to my child, a niece, or a nephew.
Until then, I am LittleShinyWolf... T'ooyaksiy' niin