Doug Pople – Wolf Willow Necklace




Doug's Story about the Wolf WIllow/Silver Berry…

I had never worked with Wolf Willow/Silver Berries prior yet have been amazed with their stark beauty. To me, they are as timeless as the Metis. My first work with Wolf Willow/Silver Berries was after I read Laurie Barkwell’s article, I never realized the significance of them to the Metis. As one of the many Metis who are on the journey to reclaim my culture, I felt this was a contribution I needed to make. 


Harvesting the berries was the easy part. Preparing them is a time consuming and painstaking process to turn each individual berry into a useable seed and preparing the berries to be a bead. Each berry has to be prepared individually so I definitely developed an appreciation for the time it took for our ancestors to prepare the berries. Although time consuming, I get to see and appreciate the uniqueness of each one, their shape, size and colour variations. There is a wide variation in the size and I utilize similar sized seeds for each necklace.

I like to incorporate sash colours into the necklaces using traditional colours such as red, blue, white, yellow and green. I was pleased with the vibrancy of the colours. I then tried incorporating some softer blues, greens and pinks. I was not sure of this colour combination but my 14 year old Granddaughter gravitated toward them so I figured these were a hit too. Later, I began trying other combinations including chrome and copper beads. I like the combination of copper and turquoise and they work well with the berries.  


Additional information

Weight .12 kg
Dimensions 6 × 8.5 × .8 cm

Metal Bead-Clasp Large – Large-Teal and Large-Gold Bead, Large Clasp – Small-Red and White Bead, Medium Clasp – Large-Red and White Bead, Medium Clasp – Large-Teal and Small-Silver Bead, Medium Clasp – Yellow, Black, Red and White Bead, Medium Clasp – Small-White and Blue Bead, Large Clasp – Small-Teal and Silver Bead, Large Clasp – Purple and Silver Bead, Medium – Red, Blue and White Bead, Large Clasp – Plum-Purple and White Bead

About the Artist

Doug Pople

Doug is a proud Métis originally from Portage la Prairie. He has a demonstrated passion for Indigenization in all facets of life and a solid commitment to the principle of decolonizing in order to achieve a fair society. Culture is of paramount importance, both learning and sharing. Doug is an avid harvester of both plants and animals yet always lives the belief of, only take what you need and leave plenty for future generations. The passion to reclaim his Métis heritage is a decade’s long journey with no end in sight. Travelling to and experiencing historical sites such as Ste. Madeleine, Batoche, Duck Lake, Rooster Town and Fish Creek is so important to his understanding of Metis history. His Kookum is with him in spirit every time he stands up and proudly proclaims his Métis ancestry, which she had to give up 90 years ago in order to survive in the settler world. Part of his journey is to learn everything Métis. After reading an article by Laurie Barkwell on the significance of the Wolf Willow, the hook was set. He harvested enough Wolf Willow berries to make one necklace, he harvested more and then made necklaces for family members. He saw pictures of Wolf Willow earrings, thought this would be an interesting project, and loved how the Wolf Willow seeds created a beautiful contrast with the colourful beads. Adding copper seemed like a great idea and he incorporated that into his creations. He upcycles used copper to turn it into art. Doug strives to be a positive role model and always promote meaningful change, especially those that recognize Indigenous ways of knowing, researching and working. He is also a huge proponent of personal growth and individual empowerment, while still being aware of the historical realities in which we live and the challenges and barriers many Indigenous people still face to this day.
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