One Bead at a Time is the oral memoir of Beverly Little Thunder, a two-spirit Lakota Elder from Standing Rock, who has lived most of her life in service to Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in vast areas of both the United States and Canada. Transcribed and edited by two-spirit Métis writer Sharron Proulx-Turner, Little Thunder’s narrative is told verbatim, her melodious voice and keen sense of humour almost audible overtop of the text on the page. Early in her story, Little Thunder recounts a dream from her early adulthood, “I stared at these lily pads for the longest time and I decided that there was one part of the pond that had lots of lily pads and no frogs. I said, ‘I want to go there because there’s lots of lily pads but no frogs and I like creating community.’” And create community she does. Little Thunder established the first and today, the only all-women’s Sundance in the world, securing a land base in the Green Mountains of Vermont for future generations of Indigenous women’s ceremony. She was active in the A.I.M. movement and she continues to practice and promote political and spiritual awareness for Indigenous women around the world. A truly remarkable visionary.
About the authors
Sharron Proulx-Turner is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. Originally from the Ottawa river valley, Sharron is from Algonquin, Ojibwe, Mohawk, Wyandat, Mi'kmaw, French and Irish ancestry. She's a two-spirit nokomis, mom, writer and community worker. Where the Rivers Join (1995), a memoir (Beckylane), was a finalist for the Edna Staebler Award for creative non-fiction, and what the auntys say (2002), was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Prize for poetry. Sharron's work appears in several anthologies, including Oxford Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English, Crisp Blue Edges, Tales from Moccasin Avenue, Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood, and in literary journals, including Gatherings, Yellow Medicine Review and West Coast Line. Sharron has two more recent books, a mixed-genre-historical-fiction called, she walks for days/ inside a thousand eyes/ a two-spirit story (2008), and a book of dedication poems called, she is reading her blanket with her hands (2008). She is currently transcribing the recorded lifestory of Lakota Elder Beverly Little Thunder, who, together with her daughter Lushanya Echeverria, leads the only all-women's Sundance on Turtle Island. the trees are still bending south is Sharron's fifth book.
Jules Koostachin, owner of VisJuelles Productions Inc., is Cree from Attawapiskat and a PhD candidate with the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC. She carries extensive experience working in Indigenous community in varying capacities such as counseling, consulting, teaching and management. Jules, also known as a storyteller and digital media maker, works to honour cultural protocols and build relationships within Indigenous community through her media arts practice. Her artistic endeavours are informed by her experience living with her Cree grandparents in northern Ontario. With an energetic and fun onstage presence, Jules presents poetry readings, storytelling, and educational presentations which use her media work to educate on Indigenous realities.
“Beverly Little Thunder, our relative, sister, daughter, lives the essence of this inherent traditional role as she unapologetically has shifted the balance to its original state by resurrecting our self-determined self governed ways of Indigenous Matriarchal Clan Mothers values.” — Elder Mae Louise Campbell; Ishkote Odeima Ikwe, Daughter Jamie; Mushkeeki Ikwe Bimose Ojibwe-Saulteaux Nation
“The capacity to transform tragedy into possibility, sadness into joy, and social exclusion into an invitation for belonging is perhaps the most powerful tool humanity has at its disposal during these critical times. Let this groundbreaking contribution inspire all of us to work together to reconstitute the circle of life.” —Sayra Pinto, author of Vatolandia and Pinol: Poems
“In a time of truth and reconciliation, One Bead at a Time: A Memoir by Beverly Little Thunder, is a book that should be read.” — Prairie Fire Magazine
“Beverly Little Thunder is a dedicated visionary who holds and shares ancient wisdom for modern times.” — Rev. Ann Benedetto, Pastor, Interfaith Ministries