Lisa Beading: Connecting With Her Ancestors One Bead At A Time 

Small Business Canada

Lisa Beading offers beadwork made by hand in small batches by the mixed Indigenous artist Lisa Walker. Each piece is named with an xá’islakala word to help her learn and reclaim her language. 

Lisa ensures that most pieces are completely one-of-a-kind, made with high-quality materials sourced mainly from Indigenous-owned businesses. Each Lisa Beading item is handmade slowly and carefully, with good energy and heart.

She does not have work available at all times and releases small collections when they are ready. With each piece, she hopes the good energy and love she puts into each piece carries on to the wearer. Lisa Walker strives to work with fashion designers, has her work worn in movie/television, and collaborates with magazine editorials.

Lisa loves to engage in artist talks, talks for Indigenous youth, special event talks, q+a’s, lunch and learns, and create special gifts for staff or honored guests.

She has been part of many selected artist talks. For example, Lisa was the Workshop Speaker for CARFAC Indigenous Protocols’ Protection and Considerations for Indigenous Artists. In addition, she participated in the Shopify Small Business Artist Talk and Entrepreneurship Program Speaker at the Kanaka Bar Indian Band. 

Reconnecting To Traditions

Lisa Walker belongs to the beaver clan and is a mixed First Nations from Kitimat, BC. She currently lives as an uninvited guest on the territories of the Kwikwetlem Nation.

After obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Emily Carr, she spent almost a decade working for a colonial bureaucratic organization as their “reconciliation” element. It was damaging to her health physically, mentally and spiritually.  

In early 2019 it became impossible for her to continue this job, and she returned to beading, a skill she learned in her early 20s from a woman from Six Nations.  

Soon, beading became a way for her to untangle this trauma and slowly change her path. Today, it has become the primary income source that she engages in daily. 

Lisa considers beading medicine that helps her heal and slow down. Beading, learning her language, x̄á’islak̓ala, and using this as inspiration to name her pieces is a real attempt to decolonize her life.

She often thinks about the word as she is beading, repeating it in her head and writing it and its meaning on the earring card afterward. It also helps her to learn words. 

For Lisa, beading is about counting, breathing, processing, and expressing herself. It helps her to process intergenerational trauma and resilience and think about and reflect on all that is happening inside her that is connected to her ancestors. 

She loves to share her pieces with the world and has sold over 1000 pairs and mailed them as far as Australia. She also uses beading as her art practice and successfully received a grant to create her Beaded Memories project. 

Her work on beadwork has been published in Geist Magazine, Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out, Inanna Publications & Education Inc., 2011, the University of Alberta’s Sociology Department Website, and Redwire Magazine.

Lisa Walker is a mixed Indigenous beader with experience in planning, administration, fine arts, colonial bureaucracy, and “reconciliation,” She is currently running her own small business to decolonize her life.

Lisa Walker finds so much peace and reflection in beading, and she hopes that you will wear her special artwork. For more information, visit

Indigenous entrepreneurs leverage their enterprises as a way to reconnect with and reconcile with their culture and traditions. To read more about these enterprises, subscribe to Indigenous SME Business Magazine and for the latest updates, check our Twitter page @IndigenousSme.

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