Experience Guide | Tourism Medicine Hat

Indigenous Inspiration


Brenda Mercer Good Sweetgrass Woman, Many Blessings Woman Brenda Mercer, who’s Dakota Sioux from Standing Buffalo Nation, has been beading for 51 years, since she was eight years old. Her non Indigenous cousin taught her the daisy stitch, and Mercer was hooked. The artist always has earrings in her purse, to give to strangers and friends. When giving, she shares a bit about who she is and her story, “I tell them, ‘I made these for you with all my love and good intentions. I’ve had people come up to me a year later saying they wear them with pride and still feel the love.'” Mercer also hosts Sharing Stories at the Saamis Tepee, where she shares personal stories and Indigenous stories from the past, while she teaches an Indigenous craft to the group. Find more information on the facing page. Find Brenda Mercer’s jewelry (White Horse Rider Co.) at the Visitor Information Centre, 330 Gehring Rd. SW.

JoLynn Parenteau Métis woman JoLynn Parenteau writes about Indigenous people, places, language, and traditions, in a column with the Medicine Hat News. After two years of writing, Parenteau feels it’s time to encapsulate each article in a book: an anthology to preserve the true stories of historic and modern-day Indigenous life. “Those connections to culture really are soul-uplifting for all of us, and it’s so important through all heritages,” single layer to a person. That’s what I enjoy discovering about people.” Along with writing, Paranteau has been invited to speak at events across Canada acknowledging Indigenous homelessness, and in 2022 she launched the 90-minute financial budgeting course “Métis Money Moves”. Since then it has grown to a 10-hour, four class instruction. Whether she is writing, speaking, or teaching, Parenteau has set her sights on helping people, through story-telling from her experience and stories shared by others. says Parenteau. “Everyone is so multi-faceted. There’s never one

Josie Saddleback White Bear Woman Josie Saddleback, who’s Nehiyah Cree, was drawn to a beautiful jingle dress full of reds, turquoises, oranges, and yellows, with pockets that could hold her medicine and crystals. When the dress fit like a glove, she knew jingle dancing found her. “I feel very grounded and proud of who I am when I dance. Once I hear the downbeat of the drum, the song takes over me. I feel close to my ancestors. I’m carrying their spirits with me, their presence, and I’m keeping their memories and cultural teachings alive, and making them proud.” The jingle dancer and jewelry artist started Saddleback Stones in 2020, after already beading for two years. She drives the prairie roads in the summer and stays in the city to attend markets and share her handmade rings, earrings, necklaces, and candles. Saddleback also beads the edges of wide-brim hats and along false eyelashes, to have the beads emulate eyeliner.

Follow @ SaddlebackStones to find the artist at an upcoming market.

12 Indigenous Spaces & Places

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