The Story Behind Jackie Traverse's Indigenous Designed Plates


Traverse's Multi-disciplinary Approach to Art

Jackie Traverse is a multidisciplinary artist with a unique approach to art that combines various mediums and cultural practices. Her artwork consists of traditional craft, contemporary visual art, urban living, and indigenous culture. Traverse's work reflects her personal experiences as an Indigenous woman growing up in Winnipeg's North End neighborhood. She embraces the use of mixed media and unconventional materials to express her creativity.

Traditional Craft

Traverse has always been interested in traditional crafts such as beadwork and quillwork, which she learned from her mother and grandmother. These skills are passed down through generations of Indigenous women, making them an essential part of their cultural heritage. Traverse uses these techniques to create intricate designs on clothing, jewelry, and other objects.

Contemporary Visual Art

Incorporating elements of contemporary visual art into her work allows Traverse to showcase the intersection between past traditions and modern life. She often explores themes like identity, trauma, healing, community activism through mixed media paintings that incorporate acrylics with images printed onto canvas or paper.

Cultural Practices

As an Indigenous artist who grew up practicing ceremonies such as sweat lodges or powwows regularly with family members; traverses' artistic expressions reflect those experiences too: "I’m just trying to make something beautiful," said Jackie about how spirituality influences everything she creates."

Urban Living

Living in cities have shaped many artists' perspectives by exposing them to new ideas while still maintaining connections with their roots & traditions due mainly because they're away from home soil without losing touch back home where possible . For Jackie traverse it is no different; having lived most of her life in Winnipeg where there exists vibrant arts scene - including galleries for emerging artists- has influenced much on what she creates today.

Traverse's multi-disciplinary approach towards art not only showcases diverse forms but also speaks volumes about cross-cultural understanding & representation within Canada’s rich tapestry!

Portrayal of Urban Living, Contemporary Visual Art, Traditional Craft, and Cultural Practices

Jackie Traverse is a multi-disciplinary Indigenous artist who uses her work to explore and express urban living, contemporary visual art, traditional craft, and cultural practices. Her plates are no exception to this exploration as they serve as a canvas for her creative expressions.

Urban Living

Traverse's art portrays the experience of urban living from an Indigenous perspective. Through her plates, she captures the daily experiences that come with city life such as commuting on public transit or standing in line at the grocery store. These mundane moments are transformed into meaningful depictions that depict modern Indigenous experiences in cities.

Contemporary Visual Art

Traverse's work also reflects contemporary visual art trends through its use of color and design. She blends traditional forms with modern techniques by incorporating bold colors and graphic designs into her pieces while still maintaining a strong connection to Indigenous culture. This fusion of styles creates unique works that appeal both to lovers of contemporary design and fans of traditional Indigenous art.

Traditional Craft

Despite using modern artistic techniques, Traverse never forgets about traditional craft methods in creating her plates. Her artwork often features intricate beadwork patterns inspired by centuries-old traditions passed down through generations within communities across Canada. The incorporation of these time-honored techniques serves as an homage to those who came before us while also contributing new meaning to them in our modern world.

Cultural Practices

Lastly, Traverse's work explores cultural practices such as medicine wheel teachings or animal symbolism used traditionally within many First Nations communities throughout North America. By including these elements into her artwork, she not only preserves but revitalizes ancient knowledge systems that have been integral parts of various cultures for centuries.

Commitment to Community through Teaching Art in Public Schools

Jackie Traverse is not only a talented artist but also a dedicated community member. She believes that art can be used as a tool for personal and social transformation, which is why she actively teaches it in public schools. Her commitment to her community has earned her recognition and respect among her peers, and many of her former students have gone on to pursue careers in the arts.

Traverse's teaching philosophy centers around empowering young people through creativity. By providing them with the tools and skills necessary to express themselves visually, she hopes to instill in them a sense of self-worth and confidence that will carry over into other aspects of their lives. She encourages experimentation and risk-taking, believing that mistakes are an essential part of the learning process.

Traverse's approach has proven successful time and again: many of her students have won awards for their artwork or been accepted into prestigious art programs after graduating high school. But even more importantly than these external markers of success, Traverse sees the impact that art education has on individual students' lives. "I've seen kids who were struggling academically come alive when they start making things," she says. "It gives them something tangible they can be proud of."

For Traverse, teaching art is not just about passing down technical skills; it's about sharing her love for creativity with others. She sees herself as both a teacher and a mentor, offering guidance and support to all those who seek it. And while some might view teaching as secondary to creating one's own artwork, Traverse considers it an integral part of her practice: "Teaching inspires me just as much as my own work does," she explains.

Overall, Jackie Traverse's commitment to teaching art in public schools demonstrates not only her passion for creativity but also her dedication to improving the lives of those around her. Through sharing her knowledge and experience with younger generations, she ensures that Indigenous art continues to thrive both now and in years to come.

Significance of Her Anishinabe Cultural Background

Anishinabe Cultural Background Influences Traverse's Art

Jackie Traverse is an Anishinabe artist, born and raised in Winnipeg's North End. Her cultural background has played a significant role in her art, particularly in the creation of her Indigenous-designed plates. The designs on the plates depict images that reflect her identity as an Anishinabe woman and are inspired by traditional teachings passed down from previous generations.

Traverse's relationship with nature plays a crucial role in shaping her artistic vision. She often incorporates natural elements into her artwork such as animals, plants, and water bodies. This connection to nature stems from the teachings she received growing up within her community where respect for Mother Earth was emphasized.

Through designing these plates, Traverse also aims to bring attention to the importance of preserving Indigenous cultures and traditions. By incorporating traditional patterns and imagery into contemporary objects like plates, she hopes to bridge the gap between past and present while inspiring others to learn more about Indigenous culture.

Overall, Jackie Traverse's Anishinabe cultural background has been instrumental in shaping both her personal life experiences as well as artistic expression through creating unique indigenous-designed plates that celebrate tradition while bringing awareness about its significance today.

Impact of Her Work in Addressing Injustices Faced by First Nations People

Traverse's work in creating Indigenous-designed plates has had a significant impact on addressing the injustices faced by First Nations people, particularly in Canada. Her art serves as a powerful medium to raise awareness about the historical and present-day struggles of Indigenous communities. Through her creations, she sheds light on issues such as land rights, cultural appropriation, residential schools, and missing and murdered Indigenous women. By bringing attention to these issues through her art, Traverse is not only educating non-Indigenous audiences but also empowering First Nations individuals to reclaim their voice and assert their identity.

Moreover, Traverse's work challenges the dominant narratives that have been imposed upon Indigenous people throughout history. Her designs draw from traditional teachings and practices that have been suppressed or misrepresented for centuries. By incorporating these elements into her art with respect and reverence for their significance within Indigenous cultures, she is contributing to the revival of these traditions while simultaneously challenging the stereotypes perpetuated by mainstream society.

Traverse's work also creates economic opportunities for First Nations artists who are often marginalized within Canadian society. The commercial success of her plates allows other artists to gain exposure and recognition for their unique talents. Furthermore, it provides an alternative source of income that allows them to support themselves financially without compromising their cultural values.

Overall, Jackie Traverse's innovative approach towards incorporating traditional designs onto commercially viable objects has allowed her artwork to serve as a means of reconciliation between different communities in Canada. Her pieces provide an opportunity for dialogue around important social issues faced by First Nations people while celebrating their rich cultural heritage at the same time. As such, Traverse's contribution towards promoting understanding between diverse groups makes her an important figure within both artistic circles and beyond.


In conclusion, Jackie Traverse's Indigenous designed plates present a unique and meaningful contribution to the world of Indigenous art and culture. The intricacy of the designs coupled with the symbolic representation of traditional Indigenous beliefs and practices make these plates not just beautiful works of art, but also valuable cultural artifacts. By incorporating her personal experiences as an Anishinaabe artist into her work, Traverse has created pieces that are both authentic and modern at the same time. These plates serve as a reminder of the rich history and ongoing contributions of Indigenous peoples to Canadian society. Overall, Traverse's work reminds us all about the importance of preserving cultural traditions through art for future generations to appreciate and learn from.

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