I have been painting for more than 25 years and am mostly self-taught. Much of my work is based on personal reflection and observation surrounding the spirituality of my People and the energy around us. My roots are with the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta, and although I was raised in “the big city,” my family exerted a strong influence on my early in my life, which led me to an appreciation of Indigenous culture, teachings and artistic traditions. My grandparents—both very talented artists known internationally for their bead work and traditional regalia—inspired and encouraged me to seek out my own path, and to work hard at whatever challenge I took on.
I was raised in Calgary by my mother, Joanne, a strong-willed and determined woman who seldom missed a day of work. In fact, after 30 years of service, she was the first Aboriginal woman to retire from her job with the city of Calgary. She was my grounding force, my rock, who kept me on the straight and narrow. Equally important to me while growing up, she always pushed me to continue with my art. I believe that her encouragement and support helped enable me to succeed and become the person I am today.