Calgary-based, family-run Moonstone Creation inspires appreciation for Native Art

WestJet
By WestJet | | 2 min read

When you visit Moonstone Creation, an Indigenous-owned and family-run business located in Calgary, you’ll come across tons of beautifully beaded items for sale while taking in the wonderful smoky smell of Native tanned hide. Yvonne Jobin and her daughter Amy Willier opened the Gallery in 2009 to showcase and preserve Native Art. They use moose, elk, deer and buffalo hide in their pouches, moccasins, business card holders, purses, custom jackets and jewelry. In addition to creating handmade traditional art right in-store, Moonstone Creation also represents over 60 Indigenous makers and artisans from across Turtle Island.

The Cree First Nations owners are focused on the appreciation of Native art, not the appropriation. They use the gallery to promote traditional art in local schools and corporations, offering workshops on everything from beading to fish-scale art. 

Amy’s son, Colton Willier, has also provided inspiration for Moonstone and was raised in the gallery from the time he was 7-months old, walking his first steps and saying his first words in the presence of their customers. Taking after his mother and grandmother, Colton has become an artist in his own right as a filmmaker; he created his first stop-motion film when he was just 6 years old.

WHOANDWHAT in Calgary on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. WHYANDMORE. (Photo by Miranda Haughian/The Press)

On Friday, January 22, 2021, Yvonne’s daughter and Moonstone Gallery co-owner, Amy Willier unexpectedly passed away. Amy was a brilliant shining light in the world who held great knowledge and responsibility for her family and community. A scholarship is being created in Amy’s name. Please contact Yvonne at yvonne@moonstonecreation.ca, if you would like to contribute.

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For information on Calgary, Moonstone Creation and planning your trip with WestJet, visit https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/destinations/discover/calgary

WestJet and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) have provided nine $10,000 grants to Indigenous tourism businesses across Canada that have been devastated by the shutdown of the tourism industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants were originally earmarked through the WestJet/ITAC strategic national partnership, signed in November 2019.

The recipients of these grants, including Moonstone Creation, were given the news in March 2021 and their reactions were captured in a new WestJet/ITAC video, WestJet & ITAC: supporting Indigenous tourism in Canada.