Braelyn Cyr was born in Campbellton, New Brunswick. She is a Mi’kmaq wampum beader and
a published author and illustrator of aboriginal children’s books.
Cyr is focusing on bridging the gap between her heritage and modern-day society through writing and illustrating children’s books. Through language, imagery and continuing the tradition of creating commentary through wampum she hopes to spread a basic understanding on not only her Mi’kmaq culture but that of other tribes within the Province. She hopes to continue to work as an art therapist, specializing in aboriginal youth Mental health care.
Wampum is the practice of traditional beading that records historical events and treaties through imagery. The beads are made from quahog shells. One looms sinew and individually strings each bead, laying the beaded string across the loomed sinew and individually restrings each bead underneath to secure the string of beads to the loomed sinew.
“Through imagery in beaded form, I make my social commentary. The books include traditional knowledge of culture and language in an accessible way to both aboriginal and non-aboriginal people. My hope is to not only have my voice heard and spread education on the culture but to continue to pass it on to future generations. Reconciliation begins when we reclaim our culture.”
Braelyn is currently studying at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in the aboriginal visual arts program. Her participation in SOFA 2018 was made possible by Gallery on Queen, Fredericton, New Brunswick.