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Naomi Smith is a First Nations Artisan and Educator from Neyaashiinigmiing Ontario. Over time her awareness of her First Nations heritage forged a strong interest in Native American beadwork, adornment and textiles. She is actively involved in educating others about the ways of the First Nations people from a historical and contemporary perspective often through the story of beads. For over 15 years Naomi has taught traditional Native Beadwork, Leather craft, Moose Hair Embroidery, Quill work and Jewellery making in non-Native or Native settings, both privately and through the public education system.
Much of her inspiration comes from the beautiful works of the Ancestors and the influences of Europeans on post contact Native American material culture. Naomi has formally studied fine art, textile design and metal work and now specializes in marketing and computer graphics. Each facet of her scholarship refined both her creative, cultural and professional goals.
"Honouring our creative traditions is my voice within and beyond my Culture and Community. Traditionally there is no word for "art" in Native languages yet artistry and visual expression are critical in defining who we are as First Nations people. It is this path I wish to honour through my teachings and my work."
She currently works as the Director of Marketing and Creative Services at Thunderbird Trading in Oakville, Ontario. Under Naomi's guidance the company continues to develop and feature First Nations designs and products. She is very proud to be part of a truly inclusive Canadian business where she utilizes her many skills.
Learn how to make a beaded ankle or wrist bracelet using traditional materials based on a Woodlands necklace from 1890. Traditional methods will be discussed along with a short show and tell of various beads and beading methods.
The traditional use of bone beads pre-dates Native contact with Europeans, and their use honours and celebrates the old ways and the artistic expression of those who came before. The use of the glass beads is rooted in contemporary Native art & culture.