Jackie Traverse: The First Nation Female Artist Behind Our Canada Souvenir Tote Bag


Learn about Jackie Traverse and her cultural background

Jackie Traverse is a First Nation female artist hailing from Lake St. Martin, Manitoba. Her art reflects her cultural background and the challenges she has faced as an Indigenous woman. Traverse's journey into the world of art started at a young age when she would create drawings with pencils and crayons on any surface available to her. She later pursued formal training in Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba.

Traverse's artwork is heavily influenced by her Ojibwe heritage, which can be seen in the use of traditional symbols such as feathers, bears, and turtles. She also draws inspiration from personal experiences such as motherhood and healing from trauma.

In an interview with CBC Radio One, Traverse spoke about how her cultural identity informs her work: "My culture plays a big role in what I do because it’s who I am… My work represents me and my people."

Traverse's artwork has been featured in galleries across Canada and internationally. In 2017, she was commissioned by Hudson's Bay Company to design their iconic Canada Souvenir Tote Bag for Canada's 150th anniversary celebration.

The design features bold colours and patterns inspired by traditional Indigenous beadwork. When asked about designing for such an important national occasion, Traverse said: "It felt empowering… It’s not every day that you get asked to represent your country."

Traverse continues to push boundaries with her art while advocating for greater recognition of Indigenous artists within the Canadian arts community.


[Include images of Jackie Traverse's artwork]

[Include image(s) of the Canada Souvenir Tote Bag designed by Jackie Traverse]

Discover the inspiration behind the Canada Souvenir Tote Bag design

The story behind the Canada Souvenir Tote Bag design

The Canada Souvenir Tote Bag has become a popular item for tourists and locals alike, but many may not know the story behind its design. Created by First Nations artist Jackie Traverse, the bag features vibrant colors and traditional Indigenous designs that represent her cultural roots. In an interview with CBC News, Traverse explained that she wanted to create something that would showcase her heritage and celebrate Canada's diversity at the same time. She said, "I really wanted to show people how beautiful our culture is and how much we have to offer as Indigenous people."

Traverse also drew inspiration from nature when designing the bag. The bright red maple leaf in the center of the design represents Canada's national symbol while also paying homage to trees which are important in Indigenous culture. The bear paw prints on either side of the maple leaf symbolize strength and power, reflecting both Traverse's artistic style as well as her personal journey overcoming adversity.

The relation between the Canada Souvenir Tote Bag design and Traverse's artwork

Traverse is known for creating artwork that highlights issues faced by First Nations communities such as residential schools, missing and murdered Indigenous women, and environmental concerns. Her art often incorporates bright colors along with symbolism drawn from traditional teachings passed down through generations.

The same themes evident in her artwork can be found in her work on the Canada Souvenir Tote Bag design. As she told Culture Trip: "My intention was to bring awareness about who we are as first peoples living here on Turtle Island [North America], our connection to Mother Earth...to raise consciousness about where this nation has come from."

Through incorporating traditional motifs into modern designs like those seen on souvenir bags or other merchandise items there becomes a chance for new audiences unfamiliar with these symbols or their meanings learn more about them – spreading knowledge can lead towards greater understanding among groups who might have previously been unaware or misinformed.

Overall, the Canada Souvenir Tote Bag design represents not only Traverse's artistic style but also her cultural heritage as a First Nations artist. It serves as a symbol of pride for Indigenous peoples and an opportunity to educate others about their rich history and traditions. As Traverse said in an interview with CBC News: "If I can bring some joy into someone's life by creating something that they love then that’s what it’s all about."

Explore the unique blend of traditional and contemporary elements in Traverse's artwork

Jackie Traverse's artwork is a unique blend of traditional and contemporary elements, which sets her apart from other artists. Her work reflects the beauty and significance of Indigenous culture while incorporating modern techniques and styles. As Traverse explains, "I want to show people that our traditions are still alive, but they can also evolve with time."

One example of this fusion can be seen in Traverse's use of bright colors and bold lines in her paintings. While these elements may seem modern at first glance, they actually draw inspiration from traditional beadwork patterns used by Indigenous women for centuries. As Traverse notes, "I see my art as a way to honor the women who came before me and their handiwork."

Traverse also incorporates contemporary themes into her artwork, such as environmentalism and social justice issues affecting Indigenous communities today. For instance, she created a series of paintings titled "Mother Earth Water Walkers," inspired by Anishinaabe water walkers who journeyed over 10,000 kilometers around all five Great Lakes to raise awareness about clean water access.

In addition to painting on canvas, Traverse also uses mixed media techniques such as collages made from magazine cutouts or found objects like animal bones or driftwood. This approach allows her to experiment with different textures and materials while staying true to her cultural roots.

The Canada Souvenir Tote Bag designed by Jackie Traverse is an excellent representation of how she blends tradition with innovation through art forms that have been practised by First Nations peoples for thousands of years . The bag features vibrant colours reminiscent of regalia worn during powwows contrasting against black background; it showcases the importance attached towards nature in indigenous cultures represented through animals painted on them - bear paws represent strength & protection whilst dragonflies symbolize change & transformation.

Overall Jackie traverse has shown us how distinctive style can be achieved when we combine traditional knowledge passed down generation-to-generation along side innovative ideas , resulting in breathtaking works that resonate with viewers from all backgrounds.


In conclusion, Jackie Traverse is a talented First Nation female artist whose artwork has been recognized and celebrated through the Canada Souvenir Tote Bag. Her unique style and use of vibrant colors have made her stand out in the Canadian art scene. As tourists and art enthusiasts, it's important to recognize diverse artists like Traverse who bring their own perspectives and cultures into their work. By supporting artists like her, we can help promote cultural diversity within Canada's art community. As Traverse herself states, "Art speaks for itself...[it] knows no boundaries." So let us continue to celebrate our differences through the arts and support artists from all backgrounds in creating meaningful pieces that reflect our country's rich cultural heritage.


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