Sister Bear Designs

Kathleen Sawdo

234 Heron street
Thunder Bay

Sister Bear Designs began as a healing journey for 3 sisters (Valerie, Kathleen and Malinda), to honour their family and community’s knowledge, strength, resilience and determination to carry on traditional Anishinaabe teachings through creating.

The Sister Bears family includes Roberta (momma bear), Pamela (auntie/great-auntie bear), Valerie (sister bear the eldest), Kathleen (sister bear the middle balance) Malinda (sister bear the youngest), Leo and Reuben (Kathleen’s cubs), Veronica and Dayne (Valerie’s cubs), Daylan and Preston (Malinda’s cubs) and Aunties, Uncles and cousins. We are an Anishinaabe family and members of Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation with family connection to Fort William First Nation.

The 3 Sister Bears (Valerie, Kathleen and Malinda) learned how to create and to coax a pattern out of beads from our Grandparents, Aunties and other family members. While officially owned and operated by Kathleen, Sister Bear Designs now includes 4 generations of artists and offers pieces created from a variety of mediums including unique beaded jewelry/accessories, traditionally tanned hides, one of a kind porcupine quill and birch bark pieces and beautifully sewn traditional and contemporary clothing.

Each piece we bead, sew, or create honours our connection to the land, the water, the winged, the two legged, the four legged and all of creation.

Sister Bear Designs pieces are Abiimadgamowin – our life’s journey, our stories and our hopes for future generations.

We are so grateful for the opportunity to honour our ancestors teachings through each piece we create.

We hope you come to love our pieces as much as we do. Miigwetch for becoming part of our story and helping us keep our ways alive as we continue to pass on knowledge to Sister Bear’s next generation.
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