Kassandra Bonspiel

Kassandra Bonspiel, also known as Kaié:wate, is from the Mohawk territory of Kanehsatà:ke. She has learned and preserved her culture's traditional arts, specifically beadwork and leatherwork.

Her grandmother, who never learned these crafts herself, inspired Kassandra. She encouraged a creative environment for Kassandra from a young age. In 2012, Kassandra decided to teach herself beadwork and leatherwork. Her goal was to make her grandmother proud and connect more with her Kanien'kehá:ka heritage.

Kassandra's hard work paid off. She not only made beautiful crafts but also made a pair of moccasins for her grandmother, something her grandmother had never owned before. Each item she made showed her improving skills and respect for her grandmother.

Now, Kassandra's beadwork and leatherwork are an important part of her culture. Her work keeps the Kanien'kehá:ka tradition alive and helps pass it to future generations. Through her dedication to these crafts, Kassandra is not just a craftswoman. She is also a protector of her culture, helping it continue one bead at a time.

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