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Sask. Métis entrepreneur partners with artist to illustrate Indigenous teachings

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A Métis entrepreneur in Saskatoon is using his business to celebrate his culture and collaborate with Indigenous artists.

Twenty-year-old Dakota McLeod sells beadwork supplies and Indigenous-created products at His Bead Store on Avenue C North.

Ahead of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, McLeod teamed-up with Plains Cree artist, Azby Whitecalf.

The two met at a powwow, when McLeod saw Whitecalf’s illustrations in a children’s book.

“We had an idea to paint a mural on the front of our store when we expanded,” McLeod tells CTV News.

“It really suits the bead store.”

In Whitecalf’s mural, a girl learns to bead from her grandmother.

An outside view of Azby Whitecalf's mural at His Bead Store. (Laura Woodward/CTV News)

“If you walk from the right side of the store, to the end, you’ll see the story of a grandmother teaching her granddaughter and then that granddaughter growing up to teach her,” Whitecalf says.

“Beading is really important to Indigenous culture because it's another way of telling stories and passing down teachings.”

Whitecalf says it’s important for kids to see themselves accurately represented in art.

“My goal with my career is providing Indigenous representation that I wasn't seeing when I was growing up,” Whitecalf says.

His Bead Store opened in 2021. 

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