Manitoba

Winnipeg artist's Métis beadwork highlights new collectible silver coin from Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg unveiled a new collectible coin on Tuesday celebrating the history of the Red River Métis featuring a work from a celebrated local artist.

Jennine Krauchi's design symbolizes survival of Métis nation, connection with the land

A woman in a beaded jacket stands next to a large silver coin that has a beadwork design on it. The coin says "Canada 2022: La Rivyeer Roozh."
Jennine Krauchi, a world-renowned Métis artist, produced the art for the new silver collector coin unveiled by the Royal Canadian Mint on Tuesday. It features Métis beadwork and Michif, the official language of the Métis Nation, to celebrate the culture and history of the community. (Mario de Ciccio/SRC)

The Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg unveiled a new collectible coin on Tuesday celebrating the history of the Red River Métis featuring art from a celebrated local artist.

The silver coin, designed by Jennine Krauchi, features traditional Métis beadwork and Michif, the official language of the Métis Nation.

"This is the story of us as Métis and the struggles that we went through and, actually, the happy times, too," Krauchi said Tuesday as the coin was unveiled.

Her design features an infinity symbol representing the immortality of the nation, flames that denote the hardships the people have faced, a rose representing the survival of the Métis, and roots that go into the Red River. 

"Believe in yourself. Believe in Métis" is written in Michif on the coin.

A round beaded art piece says "Canada 2022: La Rivyeer Roozh"
Métis history and culture are celebrated in the latest silver collector coin unveiled by the Royal Canadian Mint. The original art, which is fabric and beading, was created by Jennine Krauchi, a world-famous Métis artist. (Mario de Ciccio/SRC)

Krauchi said that during her creative process she thought about her people, but especially the women who came before her "and brought this beautiful art form that we can now call an art form," she said. "At one point it was called a craft." 

Alex Reeves, the senior manager of the Royal Canadian Mint, says this coin is one in a series of collectibles that feature Indigenous art that celebrate "passing on traditional knowledge from one generation to the next to preserve overall Indigenous culture and heritage through art and through the spoken word." 

Stakeholders from Inuit, Métis and First Nations communities have been consulted in each case about how to illustrate their story and how it will be shared with the rest of Canada, Reeves says.

"They picked the artists — as opposed to us traditionally doing that — they found artists, they solicited concepts, and we worked with them hand-in-hand to pick what looked best on a coin," he said.

"We're very delighted to see Jennine Krauchi produce an amazing beadwork design that looks absolutely fantastic on a on a coin."

The limited edition Red River Métis coin — there are only 5,000 — is 99.99 per cent pure silver and retails for $100.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Bergen is a journalist for CBC Manitoba and previously reported for CBC Saskatoon. Email story ideas to rachel.bergen@cbc.ca.

With files from Alexia Bille

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