Our Family of Artists
Valerie Sawdo (Sister Bear - the Eldest) and Kathleen Sawdo (Sister Bear - the Younger) are Anishnaabe from Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation (in Northwestern Ontario). Valerie now lives in Edmonton Alberta, and Kathleen lives in Thunder Bay Ontario - and will soon be living in her home community. They both love to bead and learned from their Grandmother, Mother, Aunties and family. Valerie loves to bead and add a little bling every now and then. Kathleen loves creating new designs, working with beads, quills, birch and leather.
Roberta Schulte (Mama Bear) is originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario and her family roots are in Cloud Bay area. Roberta is Valerie and Kathleen's mother. Roberta learned the beading art from her mother-in-law (Viola Sawdo, Anishnaabe from Fort William First Nation). Roberta learned the art in order to ensure her Anishnaabe daughters learned the traditional beading art and techniques. Roberta is 'sister bears' mother, teacher and mentor.
(Miigwetch Mama - you ensured we remained connected to our Anishnaabe ways - We love you so very much! - Kathleen Sawdo, Valerie Sawdo)
Veronica Sawdo (Roni Bear Cub - Valerie's Daughter), grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and is now residing in Thunder Bay while she attends Confederation College. Veronica has found her love for creating in a variety of mediums. She creates Sister Bear Designs Jingle pieces, including Jingle Earrings and Keychains. Veronica's Jingle creations helped her connect with her Anishnaabe identity (not everyone is a beader, and we all have gifts to share). We are so very proud of you Roni Bear Cub!!!!!