Winnipeg artist elated after Whoopi Goldberg uses custom necklace to address MMIW
TORONTO -- An Indigenous woman from Manitoba got the surprise of a lifetime when she turned on The View to see a beaded medallion she created around the neck of Whoopi Goldberg, who used it to raise awareness of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.
Mish Daniels, a member of Sagkeeng First Nation who was born and raised in Winnipeg, makes beaded necklace medallions and recently sold a custom-designed red jingle dress dancer medallion to a customer in British Columbia.
Just a few days later, Goldberg was wearing that same necklace on The View.
“When I first seen it on The View, I lost my voice,” Daniels told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview. “I yelled, I cried, I screamed. It was like winning the lottery.”
“I can’t believe my work has made it that far.”
The customer, Connie Greyeyes, had asked for a custom necklace made with red beads to show support for the missing and murdered Indigenous women in British Columbia.
As it turns out, Greyeyes met Goldberg while attending a conference at a Vancouver hotel and Goldberg took a liking to the medallion, so Greyeyes happily handed it over.
“I’m Ojibway and in our custom, when somebody admires a gift like that, you give it to them,” Daniels said. “That’s just protocol.”
Fast forward a few days and Daniels turns on The View to see Goldberg wearing the necklace on air.
During the episode, Goldberg explained the necklace and took the time to raise awareness about MMIW in both Canada and the United States.
“Native American and Indigenous women find themselves out looking for their people who’ve gone missing,” she said during the show. “I think women need to come together and say: ‘None of us should be gone missing.’ There has to be a way for us to do this better.”
Daniels applauded Goldberg’s message.
“It doesn’t matter what colour you are, people go missing every day,” she said. “It just has to stop, because everybody’s got a family."
In an interview with CTV News Channel Sunday, Daniels said Whoopi wanted to bring awareness to the missing and murdered Indigenous community in the U.S.
“Whoopi was sharing with Connie that she wanted to bring awareness for all the Native American missing and murdered on the United States side because they don’t even get talked about,” she said.
“Not like us Canadians, us Aboriginal Indigenous people in Canada, we’re very lucky because we do have a voice.”
Daniels said she wanted to use her new platform to raise awareness of missing boys too.
“My grandpa always said equal balance,” Daniels told CTV News Channel.
“Currently in Manitoba we have two boys missing, Dwayne Lavallee and Cody Mousseau is a new one. Yes, we can’t forget the girls, but there’s lots of boys missing too. Any kind of awareness is good awareness.”
Since the episode aired, Daniels said she’s been inundated with messages from friends and family congratulating her, not to mention those hoping to place an order.
“I will get to everybody eventually, but it’s just crazy,” she said. “My world has exploded in two days.”
Daniels said each beaded medallion takes about two days to finish, which she said is quick, considering the intricate detail.
“I’m so excited, I want to see them completed,” she said. “That’s why I go so fast.”