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Cree Artists Directory

List of registered artists and artisans from Eeyou Istchee and surrounding areas.

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Jo-Marie Einish

Traditional & Contemporary:
Beadwork | Traditional Knowledge Object | Indigenized Soy Candles, Indigenized Soap, Indigenized Soy Wax Melts, Indigenized Cosmetics
Multidisciplinary Arts:
Multimedia | Storytelling | Keynote Speaker, Workshop Facilitator, Educating on Two-Spirit Identity, 2SLGBTQIA Awareness Advocate
Location: Whapmagoostui
Website: https://washashqawin.com

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Short description of your art.

Jo-Marie Einish (They/Them) is a Cree-Naskapi of northern Quebec. Creates handmade indigenized products such as: Soap, Candles, Wax Melts, Bath Bombs, Bath Salts, Traditional Beadwork, Fabric Sew. Also does resin pouring, and list them as individual pieces for beaders to purchase for their own art. Jo-Marie also facilitates workshop on Two-Spirit Identity and how to accommodate the Two-Spirit and/or Indigenous person in the workplace respectfully. Jo-Marie is a longtime advocate for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, and often spreads that awareness in keynote speaking and presentations. This expression can also be found in their traditional beadwork and fabric workings, as many of the pieces present themselves as gender-neutral.

Where did you learn your art?

My mother taught me about beadwork when I was 7 years old. I completed my first piece which said "1# Dad" that meant to say "#1". It was my first thing, and I remember feeling so proud. My dad taught me things about painting, and the importance of working with art. He once mentioned that any kind of beadwork is beautiful, regardless if lines are straight or not. In high school, likely secondary 2 or 3, Badabin Eeyou School had (and still has) a cultural class program. I learned how to make gloves, as the teacher was a local elder from the community. She taught us many things, like embroidery, sewing stitches, fur, and the importance of making warm gloves. As for candle and soap making, social media had a big role. I used to see videos of people pouring waxes and thought it might be therapeutic to try. So one day I tried it, and totally fell in love.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Eeyou Istchee, culture as a Cree-Naskapi person. I look at the teachings I picked up over the years, from elders and community. I often remember camping, walks on nature trails, and the beautiful beach in Whapmagoostui. The inspiration for the Candles and Soap really come from our territory Eeyou Istchee. I remember the trees, the sounds, the scent of what certain days have felt like in specific weather conditions. I decided to create these products to bring that sense of home to the indigenous person who is far from home, away for studies, or even someone looking to reconnect to their roots.

Have you received any formal training?

General Arts & Science Certificate 2014, Canadore College North Bay, ON Electrical Techniques Certificate 2015, Canadore College North Bay, ON Aboriginal Advantage Program Certificate 2016, Nipissing University North Bay ON Cree Youth & Politics Training 2021, Algonquin College Corporate Training Ottawa, ON

What other art forms do you practice?

Storytelling, workshop facilitation, and polaroid photography. Storytelling is mostly about certain lessons learned in life, and how we as a nation can overcome obstacles in life. Most of it comes from personal experience, or from people I've met around the world. Workshop Facilitation is about Understanding Identity as a Two-Spirit person/people. This is about educating others about the roles that are now revitalizing through networking and traditional teachings. Most of these workshops are on the foundation of learning the history of Two-Spirit People in Eeyou Istchee, and how that has changed overtime due to colonization. These workshops present the historical context, how we understand gender today, and how we can provide the means to accommodate a healthy resurgence and revitalization in our culture. This workshop can cater to certain themes, and has notably been presented to Parents/Guardians on how to accommodate their child, or guidelines on how to celebrate their children or family that resonate with 2SLGBTQIA+. This workshop has also been presented to health-care professionals that are looking to accommodate all genders, and peoples in their practices. Recently, I got into facilitating Candle-making workshops. It is a calming practice and I think people enjoy it. Polaroid Photography is an art form that takes place worldwide. I travel often to far places and carry my polaroid to take photos of everything. Most of it is done to capture the feeling or essence of a place, or even a perfect landscape or portrait.

Have you ever received any awards or special recognition?

Youth Council Recognition Award Awarded by: WFN Youth Council, Youth Recognition Awards 2022 LGBTQ2S + Community Award Awarded for: "Advocating and Representing the Community" Awarded by: WFN Youth Council, Youth Recognition Awards 2022

Do you sell your work? If so, how?

I sell my work on my website, through social media, and markets that are based in Montreal.

Has your art work ever been mentioned in any media?

CBC Listen also known as CBC North March 30, 2022 - interviewed regarding Washashqawin Euphoria and Indigenized Soap Making/Candle making | CBC Listen also known as CBC North April 1, 2022 - interviewed regarding the beaded medallion for Grand Chief Mandy Gull-Masty | CBC Montreal December 16, 2022 - interviewed regarding newly founded organization Two-Spirits of Eeyou Istchee

Please provide any information on your buyers.

Buyers all throughout Eeyou Istchee, Naskapi Nation, Canada and USA. There are some international buyers that are often visiting Montreal and purchase my products at Montreal Markets. So, some of it is through tourism.