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Beaded with love

Last week I received a special parcel in the mail. Love poured out when I opened it. 
A card covered with plant babies...umm hello, how perfect?! Inside, the card dawned perfect hand writing, letters that quite frankly belong on Pinterest. Between each word I can feel the love that was poured into writing the words that flowed effortlessly onto the paper. The card itself has travelled with the giver for quite sometime and in the card she explains basically the card was meant to wait until now to find the receiver on the other end. 
After my tears finished staining the paper of the card, I took the time to go through the gifts that filled the package. Each gift was crafted with genuine love, care & thoughtfulness. 
My cousin Lynlea sent me this package. My cousin technically not by blood, but I NEVER address that. WE NEVER address that. It’s insulting to the bond that we have created. The beautiful thing is, we have chosen each other as family. I’m taking the time to address this now because I myself have been gifted some incredibly amazing people throughout my life and a lot of them aren’t related to me by blood. You see, that has no bearing on the connection & love we carry for one another. 
My sweet cousin took the time to chose each colour for this beautiful bead work she created. She thoughtfully explained how the middle flower represents me, and  each blue flower on either side represents my brothers. She then explained how they mirror my children as well. My heart is so full with love from this beautiful gift.

I am forever grateful for the people I have in my life. How incredible is it that I have someone in my life who loves on me & takes the time to make such beautiful beadwork!?! PS. Check out my stories to see the kick ass beaded cactus pin she made for me!!! Can spring hurry up so I can rock it on my jean jacket! Go check out @lynleabinly work, girl knows how to bead #beadwork #metisbeading #metis #cousins #manitobabeading #ourhomestc #grateful #familybychoice #wearefamily #craftingcousins #beadembroidery #vintageframe #brassdecor #gallerywall #cousinsforever #indigenouswomen #indigenousbeadwork
Beaded with love Last week I received a special parcel in the mail. Love poured out when I opened it. A card covered with plant babies...umm hello, how perfect?! Inside, the card dawned perfect hand writing, letters that quite frankly belong on Pinterest. Between each word I can feel the love that was poured into writing the words that flowed effortlessly onto the paper. The card itself has travelled with the giver for quite sometime and in the card she explains basically the card was meant to wait until now to find the receiver on the other end. After my tears finished staining the paper of the card, I took the time to go through the gifts that filled the package. Each gift was crafted with genuine love, care & thoughtfulness. My cousin Lynlea sent me this package. My cousin technically not by blood, but I NEVER address that. WE NEVER address that. It’s insulting to the bond that we have created. The beautiful thing is, we have chosen each other as family. I’m taking the time to address this now because I myself have been gifted some incredibly amazing people throughout my life and a lot of them aren’t related to me by blood. You see, that has no bearing on the connection & love we carry for one another. My sweet cousin took the time to chose each colour for this beautiful bead work she created. She thoughtfully explained how the middle flower represents me, and each blue flower on either side represents my brothers. She then explained how they mirror my children as well. My heart is so full with love from this beautiful gift. I am forever grateful for the people I have in my life. How incredible is it that I have someone in my life who loves on me & takes the time to make such beautiful beadwork!?! PS. Check out my stories to see the kick ass beaded cactus pin she made for me!!! Can spring hurry up so I can rock it on my jean jacket! Go check out @lynleabinly work, girl knows how to bead #beadwork #metisbeading #metis #cousins #manitobabeading #ourhomestc #grateful #familybychoice #wearefamily #craftingcousins #beadembroidery #vintageframe #brassdecor #gallerywall #cousinsforever #indigenouswomen #indigenousbeadwork
A letter to myself 27 years ago... Dear nine year old self,

Tonight’s bedtime routine will be one you’ll remember for a lifetime. You’ll snuggle with your mama in your bed & give both your parents a kiss good night for the last time, but I promise you, you won’t forget this moment no matter how much time passes.

You’ll be the most scared you’ve ever been tonight but I promise you, you’ll get out safe.

You’ll be worried that help won’t come tonight. Unfortunately it won’t come for a very long time, and even too late for some of those you love, but it’ll eventually come.

It’ll be terrifying to see your mom with such sadness in her eyes, just know she’s doing everything to protect you & your brother.

You won’t understand why your dad isn’t waking up to help you. Believe me Peanut, he wishes he could. 
There’s nothing you or your brothers can do to change the course of the night, you are only children.

You’ll be worried about Carson, he is safe, he ran to call for help. He didn’t leave you behind. I wish this letter would reach you in time to tell you, he will seem like the strongest, he will pretend like he’s okay after tonight, but he’s not. Adults need to advocate to get him help. 
You’ll have to the leave the place you called home, but you’ll eventually call two places home and this will be a beautiful blessing.

Today, January 26th 1993, is the last day you’ll know what it’s like to feel whole. Tomorrow, you’ll be filled with pain, loss, anger & grief. You won’t know how to handle any of it at first, just know that eventually you’ll learn that each emotion will bring with it a lesson. You’ll grow up to advocate & fight for others so that no one has to go through what you went through. 
You’ll eventually figure out that it’s not okay what you & your family had to go through. You’ll see where the justice system failed you & you’ll start demanding answers.

Dear nine year old self, tonight’s nightmare will end & tomorrow will come, it won’t look the same as it did yesterday but it will come. 
#dearnineyearoldself #27yearsago #healingjourney #healing #nineyearold #prairiegirl #traumarecovery #traumarecovery #ourhomestc #steustache #manitoba #mmiw #mmiwg
A letter to myself 27 years ago... Dear nine year old self, Tonight’s bedtime routine will be one you’ll remember for a lifetime. You’ll snuggle with your mama in your bed & give both your parents a kiss good night for the last time, but I promise you, you won’t forget this moment no matter how much time passes. You’ll be the most scared you’ve ever been tonight but I promise you, you’ll get out safe. You’ll be worried that help won’t come tonight. Unfortunately it won’t come for a very long time, and even too late for some of those you love, but it’ll eventually come. It’ll be terrifying to see your mom with such sadness in her eyes, just know she’s doing everything to protect you & your brother. You won’t understand why your dad isn’t waking up to help you. Believe me Peanut, he wishes he could. There’s nothing you or your brothers can do to change the course of the night, you are only children. You’ll be worried about Carson, he is safe, he ran to call for help. He didn’t leave you behind. I wish this letter would reach you in time to tell you, he will seem like the strongest, he will pretend like he’s okay after tonight, but he’s not. Adults need to advocate to get him help. You’ll have to the leave the place you called home, but you’ll eventually call two places home and this will be a beautiful blessing. Today, January 26th 1993, is the last day you’ll know what it’s like to feel whole. Tomorrow, you’ll be filled with pain, loss, anger & grief. You won’t know how to handle any of it at first, just know that eventually you’ll learn that each emotion will bring with it a lesson. You’ll grow up to advocate & fight for others so that no one has to go through what you went through. You’ll eventually figure out that it’s not okay what you & your family had to go through. You’ll see where the justice system failed you & you’ll start demanding answers. Dear nine year old self, tonight’s nightmare will end & tomorrow will come, it won’t look the same as it did yesterday but it will come. #dearnineyearoldself #27yearsago #healingjourney #healing #nineyearold #prairiegirl #traumarecovery #traumarecovery #ourhomestc #steustache #manitoba #mmiw #mmiwg
How can I be sad about something I’ve never had?

I found myself wondering what others saw in me of her as I washed my face before bed. I stared looking into the mirror seeing my own reflection, with no reminders of her in me.

I walked into our bedroom & said something I had never once even thought about. I told Luke, “ It would be cool to have a photo of my mom & I side by side at this age to see how much we looked alike”. He smiled and we left it at that.

Except, I didn't just leave it at that. I laid in bed with the realization & hard truth that I hadn’t ever thought that I wanted a photo of us together now. I want a photo where our heads are thrown back from an inside joke. I want a photo of us where people say, “wow you two look like sisters.” Or a silly one like this one. 
I laid with my back turned away from Luke & cried. The deep, painful silent cry. In that moment I wondered, how can I be sad about something I never had the opportunity to have? I know when I was younger I would be sad over the missed opportunities but I hadn’t felt this way in years.

There are many missed moments I could be sad over but for the most part, I choose not to look at them & instead live in the real moments I had with them. Sometimes, it’s hard to do that, & that’s okay. 
It’s not an easy journey of healing, heck, no one ever said it was. The beautiful part is now, I have the mindset to acknowledge the pain & emotions & work within them. 
Here’s the key, did you hear what I said? I work within them. Not through them. 
To me, working through them would just be getting through to the other side. I want to work within those feelings though. I want to break the emotions down, deconstruct the thoughts & find a positive way to now work with those feelings of pain. 
Today, I’ll look in the mirror & find the pieces of her within myself that the two of us share. Maybe I won’t see them right away, but they’re there...or so I’ve been told but her friends & family. 
#mamaandme #justthetwoofus #mom #the80s #blowingkisses #twins #memories #healing #healingjourney #ourhomestc #workingwithin #kisses #mommydaughter #smiles #insidejokes #mmiw #healingenergy
How can I be sad about something I’ve never had? I found myself wondering what others saw in me of her as I washed my face before bed. I stared looking into the mirror seeing my own reflection, with no reminders of her in me. I walked into our bedroom & said something I had never once even thought about. I told Luke, “ It would be cool to have a photo of my mom & I side by side at this age to see how much we looked alike”. He smiled and we left it at that. Except, I didn't just leave it at that. I laid in bed with the realization & hard truth that I hadn’t ever thought that I wanted a photo of us together now. I want a photo where our heads are thrown back from an inside joke. I want a photo of us where people say, “wow you two look like sisters.” Or a silly one like this one. I laid with my back turned away from Luke & cried. The deep, painful silent cry. In that moment I wondered, how can I be sad about something I never had the opportunity to have? I know when I was younger I would be sad over the missed opportunities but I hadn’t felt this way in years. There are many missed moments I could be sad over but for the most part, I choose not to look at them & instead live in the real moments I had with them. Sometimes, it’s hard to do that, & that’s okay. It’s not an easy journey of healing, heck, no one ever said it was. The beautiful part is now, I have the mindset to acknowledge the pain & emotions & work within them. Here’s the key, did you hear what I said? I work within them. Not through them. To me, working through them would just be getting through to the other side. I want to work within those feelings though. I want to break the emotions down, deconstruct the thoughts & find a positive way to now work with those feelings of pain. Today, I’ll look in the mirror & find the pieces of her within myself that the two of us share. Maybe I won’t see them right away, but they’re there...or so I’ve been told but her friends & family. #mamaandme #justthetwoofus #mom #the80s #blowingkisses #twins #memories #healing #healingjourney #ourhomestc #workingwithin #kisses #mommydaughter #smiles #insidejokes #mmiw #healingenergy
2020 visions
lessons & healing 
Dear 2019,
Thank you for all that you taught me. Within the first few days of the year you had me realize it is best “to just be me”. Once I opened my heart & mind to the notion that I should just embrace exactly who I am, life and healing started to open itself up to me. 
You opened new depths of healings, which in-turn has lead me to do what I believe to be is my purpose. 
You showed me all the incredibly supportive people I have in my life. (This I have always known & have been grateful for) however 2019 reiterated the profound amount of people who care, love & support me.

2019 reintroduced me to the heritage I had been separated from. I was gifted with my spirit name & a beautiful handmade drum. Through the most emotional work I’ve ever done I was connected with my MMIWG family. Through pain we found love and connection.

You gave me a new understanding to the word healing. My eyes have been opened to the fact that as long as I am healing, I am being healed. There is no end to healing...and you made me realize, that’s okay. 
We broke down barriers together. We taught others about the things no one wants to talk about. We cried tears of sadness together & tears of relief. 
2019 you equipped me with all the tools and lessons I needed to be prepared for 2020, thank you. 
As cliche as this sounds, bring it on 2020, I am open to every lesson you have to offer!

#healing #visionsof2020 #barbarawalters #thisis2020 #cheers #dear2019 #gratitude #mmiwg #handdrum #spiritname #whitethunderwoman #iammetis #mmiw #letterboardquotes #letterboard #ourhomestc #podcastlife #justbeme #mypurpose #mentalhealth #beavoiceforthevoiceless #2020 #newyearseve #spark #lightinthedarkness #healed
2020 visions lessons & healing Dear 2019, Thank you for all that you taught me. Within the first few days of the year you had me realize it is best “to just be me”. Once I opened my heart & mind to the notion that I should just embrace exactly who I am, life and healing started to open itself up to me. You opened new depths of healings, which in-turn has lead me to do what I believe to be is my purpose. You showed me all the incredibly supportive people I have in my life. (This I have always known & have been grateful for) however 2019 reiterated the profound amount of people who care, love & support me. 2019 reintroduced me to the heritage I had been separated from. I was gifted with my spirit name & a beautiful handmade drum. Through the most emotional work I’ve ever done I was connected with my MMIWG family. Through pain we found love and connection. You gave me a new understanding to the word healing. My eyes have been opened to the fact that as long as I am healing, I am being healed. There is no end to healing...and you made me realize, that’s okay. We broke down barriers together. We taught others about the things no one wants to talk about. We cried tears of sadness together & tears of relief. 2019 you equipped me with all the tools and lessons I needed to be prepared for 2020, thank you. As cliche as this sounds, bring it on 2020, I am open to every lesson you have to offer! #healing #visionsof2020 #barbarawalters #thisis2020 #cheers #dear2019 #gratitude #mmiwg #handdrum #spiritname #whitethunderwoman #iammetis #mmiw #letterboardquotes #letterboard #ourhomestc #podcastlife #justbeme #mypurpose #mentalhealth #beavoiceforthevoiceless #2020 #newyearseve #spark #lightinthedarkness #healed
Made with love

Approximately 28 years ago my mother made the Christmas blanket that her grand baby is now wrapped up in. For some, the holidays can be hard without their loved ones. Whatever you believe in, this is a reminder that your loved ones are with you in one way or another.

This blanket is the only Christmas item I have that was my immediate family’s and it has been apart of every single one of each of my children’s Christmas’. I’ve laid each of my babies on this blanket. Luke constantly steals it and claims it as his own for every family Christmas movie night. Our fur babies have snuggled on it and taken a nap. I’ve wrapped it around me as though to have my mother embrace me while I watch my children open their Christmas gifts. This blanket has always been used in the most comforting & loving way, which speaks into the very person my mama was as a person. 
Although my mother isn’t physically here, I find immense joy and peace knowing that she’s been here with us in other ways.

Today, V isn’t feeling well, he’s snuggled up in the corner, under a blanket of love, made with love, teaching each of us what love really is. I can just imagine my mother’s face as her spirit sits watching her grandchild pile his most prized possessions (hot wheels cars) all over the blanket she made what seems like a lifetime ago. 
THIS moment IS the spirit of Christmas. 
#spiritofchristmas #grandbabies #christmasblanket #sherry #mymama #vedderdownie #ourhomestc #christmasspirit #joy #lovetrumpsall #peace #circa1992 #blanketfromheaven #90s #vintage #tearsofjoy #ohholynight
Made with love Approximately 28 years ago my mother made the Christmas blanket that her grand baby is now wrapped up in. For some, the holidays can be hard without their loved ones. Whatever you believe in, this is a reminder that your loved ones are with you in one way or another. This blanket is the only Christmas item I have that was my immediate family’s and it has been apart of every single one of each of my children’s Christmas’. I’ve laid each of my babies on this blanket. Luke constantly steals it and claims it as his own for every family Christmas movie night. Our fur babies have snuggled on it and taken a nap. I’ve wrapped it around me as though to have my mother embrace me while I watch my children open their Christmas gifts. This blanket has always been used in the most comforting & loving way, which speaks into the very person my mama was as a person. Although my mother isn’t physically here, I find immense joy and peace knowing that she’s been here with us in other ways. Today, V isn’t feeling well, he’s snuggled up in the corner, under a blanket of love, made with love, teaching each of us what love really is. I can just imagine my mother’s face as her spirit sits watching her grandchild pile his most prized possessions (hot wheels cars) all over the blanket she made what seems like a lifetime ago. THIS moment IS the spirit of Christmas. #spiritofchristmas #grandbabies #christmasblanket #sherry #mymama #vedderdownie #ourhomestc #christmasspirit #joy #lovetrumpsall #peace #circa1992 #blanketfromheaven #90s #vintage #tearsofjoy #ohholynight
The one where I meet Sarah

So I did a thing, I was a guest speaker on @thepapayapodcast 
Yup! I’m freaking out you guys!! First of all Sarah is the same sweet soul in person as she is on social. Shes the real deal! I instantly felt comfortable with her, which is pretty important given the heavy topic I shared with her.

I was given yet another opportunity to share my truth. Each time I share my story I take with it a new depth of healing and honestly I take back a piece of myself that has been lost for so long. 
My girlfriend Sam connected Sarah & I. I’m filled with so much gratitude for these two ladies. They both felt my story was important. For so long I’ve struggled with the notion that my family’s story didn’t matter, or that I was alone. The truth is, it does matter and I’m not alone with the struggles that I’ve gone through. Unfortunately there are many others who have experienced injustice similar to what my family has endured. With that being said my hopes for speaking on the podcast is to bring more awareness to MMIW, the lack of proper policing in rural Indigenous communities in Canada, mental health and the lack of easily accessible post trauma care....seems like a lot right?! Well these are just a handful of the things that come from my personal story. 
I’m going to continue making noise. I’m going to continue sharing my story, because my parents & my brother’s lives mattered! I never want a single person to ever go through what my entire family has gone through. This happened right here in Canada you guys, it’s unfortunately too late for my family to receive the justice they deserve but if we all continue to make & demand change, it WILL come!

Stay tuned for the one where White Thunder woman calls out the justice system for failing her & her family.

#theonewhere #thishappened #sharingmytruth #callingoutthesystem #mmiwg #nomorestolensisters #wpg #papaya #thebirdspapaya #fringe #loveyourself #mystorymatters #podcast #momsof3 #prairiegirl #whitethunderwoman #impostersyndrome
The one where I meet Sarah So I did a thing, I was a guest speaker on @thepapayapodcast Yup! I’m freaking out you guys!! First of all Sarah is the same sweet soul in person as she is on social. Shes the real deal! I instantly felt comfortable with her, which is pretty important given the heavy topic I shared with her. I was given yet another opportunity to share my truth. Each time I share my story I take with it a new depth of healing and honestly I take back a piece of myself that has been lost for so long. My girlfriend Sam connected Sarah & I. I’m filled with so much gratitude for these two ladies. They both felt my story was important. For so long I’ve struggled with the notion that my family’s story didn’t matter, or that I was alone. The truth is, it does matter and I’m not alone with the struggles that I’ve gone through. Unfortunately there are many others who have experienced injustice similar to what my family has endured. With that being said my hopes for speaking on the podcast is to bring more awareness to MMIW, the lack of proper policing in rural Indigenous communities in Canada, mental health and the lack of easily accessible post trauma care....seems like a lot right?! Well these are just a handful of the things that come from my personal story. I’m going to continue making noise. I’m going to continue sharing my story, because my parents & my brother’s lives mattered! I never want a single person to ever go through what my entire family has gone through. This happened right here in Canada you guys, it’s unfortunately too late for my family to receive the justice they deserve but if we all continue to make & demand change, it WILL come! Stay tuned for the one where White Thunder woman calls out the justice system for failing her & her family. #theonewhere #thishappened #sharingmytruth #callingoutthesystem #mmiwg #nomorestolensisters #wpg #papaya #thebirdspapaya #fringe #loveyourself #mystorymatters #podcast #momsof3 #prairiegirl #whitethunderwoman #impostersyndrome