By Breanne Massey
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A philanthropist from southeastern B.C. has recently begun beading projects to raise money to donate to Indigenous advocacy groups throughout the province.

Causes such as No More Stolen Sisters and the Lil Red Dress Project have resonated with Fairmont resident and artist Kaylene Earl.

Kaylene Earl has begun beading jewellery during the COVID-19 pandemic to fundraise for causes such as No More Stolen Sisters and the Lil Red Dress Project. She hopes to raise awareness about the missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada through her craft. Submitted photo

“I just feel so calm and peaceful when I’m beading,” said Earl. “I started doing research around the Lil Red Dress project, and I can’t imagine anything more devastating than not knowing where your loved one is, so I wanted to do something for that organization and I wanted to help.”

The goal of the Lil Red Dress Project is to raise money for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) signage and to help bring awareness to the issue in many communities.

No More Stolen Sisters is an Amnesty International campaign focused on raising awareness about violence against all women in Canada.

“I feel very strongly for this cause,” explained Earl. “There’s just way too much violence against women, Indigenous and non-Indigenous women, but it seems the non-Indigenous women get found and their families get closure, but the Indigenous ones don’t. Their families are still out there, looking.”

While Earl remains unsure of her family’s ancestry, she’s currently in the process of researching if her family was Métis after learning about a great, great grandfather that appears to have been Iroquois or Mohawk. 

She credits Métis Nation B.C. (MNBC) Kootenay board member Debra Fisher for teaching her how to do flat embroidery beading on moccasins in the past. 

However, Earl did not endeavour to make beaded earrings until the last year when the global COVID-19 pandemic struck, and she taught herself through trial and error.

Now, Earl has a Facebook page called Kiyum Kreations where she displays her progress in beading and often promotes philanthropic projects in Canada.

“Kiyam is a Cree word for being at peace with yourself, so I started beading heavily when the lockdown started and it brought peace to me because the world is chaotic,” she said. “I found when I was beading, my mind is calm and at peace and kiyam came to me out of the blue.”

Earl has sold 12 sets of earrings in the month of February, and she plans to donate the money to the Lil Red Dress Project, deducting only the cost of supplies.

She sells brooches with Stolen Sisters art-work from the page, and donates the proceeds as well.

Visit her social media page to see more of Earl’s projects at: