COMMANDA: The maiden name of our maternal great grandmother. Our forever matriarch. Susan was a bead weaver and a woman who embodied resiliency.
COLLECTIVE: All of us. Those who heal.
Susan with all seven of her children. (Left to right) Shirley, Susan, Douglas, Yvette, Irene, Archie, Rene, Kenny.
Our beadwork journey was inspired by our Great Grandmother, Susan Espaniel (nee Commanda). She created leather moccasins and mitts with inspiring beaded patterns. She was a residential school survivor and sadly saw some of her children attend the same school. She beaded even when it was illegal to engage in cultural activities like beading. She did this to keep the culture and art alive. She did not teach her children how to bead, we believe this was due to it being illegal and she didn’t want to put her children at risk. It amazes us how after 3 generations, it has found its way back and into our laps to reconnect. We named our company after her to honour her art and her life.
Susan with a collection of beadwork
A small sample of the beadwork created by Susan
By remembering the traditions of our ancestors, we modernize these teachings to continue to share and rise the Indigenous life force. We work towards a future rooted in Indigenous ways of being.
To honour the resiliency of our ancestors, we create adornments as a gateway to healing. Our work is meant to exist as animate objects that invite you to engage in your own healing work.