A highly talented Anishinàbekwe, both as a teacher of Anishinàbemowin and as a craftswoman, Stéphanie Tenasco is renowned for the quality of her beadwork throughout the province of Quebec. Native to the Kitigàn Zìbì territory, she still lives there, along with her mom, family and relatives. 

Stéphanie has many strings to her bow: she’s a singer, storyteller, craftswoman and teacher, but she’s particularly fond of passing on the language to the very young. She has developed an impressive body of teaching material in the form of short videos presented on YouTube and shared in her community school. 

“My parents inspired me to pass on the language, my mother was a teacher from the age of 19 in the community. So it was natural for me to follow in my parents’ footsteps.”  

Her teaching materials include short videos with puppets who speak English and Anishinàbemowin, about different events in community life such as the seasons, sugar time, Christmas and more. 

Her art of beading is incomparably meticulous. Whether for mittens, moccasins or jewelry, Stéphanie draws inspiration from the teachings she has received from members of her family. In fact, a strawberry is often featured, as for her it’s a symbol marking the time of her birth in June, Odeyimin Kìzis, the time of strawberries. 

Stéphanie has a busy career: reference artist for the MANITOBA MUKLUKS manufacturer, beadwork teacher at the University of Ottawa, development assistant at the Kitigàn Zìbì Cultural Centre and much more. 

She’s a cultural ambassador to follow, as she continues to amaze us with her creativity. 

To see one of her many videos. 

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