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Boozhoo, ᐴᔔ

My government name is Kyla Kwandibens

I am Anishinaabe, my paternal choomish is French/ Ojibway from the Loon clan and my kokum is Cree/Ojibway from the Sturgeon clan. I am registered with Whitesand First Nation in Armstrong Ontario. I grew up in Victoria British Columbia and I have survived in the concrete jungles my entire life. I have wandered aimlessly in and out of my addictions and then my kokum passed away and it felt like my world ended. 

My Story

Anishinaabe Essentials was birthed in December 2020, in honour of my late Kokum Josie Kwandibens who passed in June 2020.  As I grew up I felt I wasn’t smart enough or good enough because I was put in the special education classes. The colonial education system failed me like it failed my grandparents, and my mother.


My first language is Anishinaabemowin. I lived with my grandmother when I was a baby who only spoke Anishinaabemowin. In 2020 when I started learning my language everything just made sense. My mother taught me the basics of Ojibway syllabics, so it was easy to catch on. I feel that culture and language are important to keep alive. It will teach us who we are as Anishinabek or Indigenous peoples.


I am a recovering alcoholic. I spent my whole life putting myself in dangerous situations because I thought that was the best that life had to offer. In my darkest moment, I thought this is it and I wanted to die. But, it wasn’t. Life is better without drugs and alcohol. I love the Ojibway phrase Giiwe : s/he returns home. I am returning to my culture, language and the way of life our ancestors fought for.


The Creator gave me this chance to show people no matter what your life looks like you can turn it around.

We welcome ALL people of any ethnic background, who want to support my business, to be proud of wearing my artworks.” My belief is, “it is not cultural appropriation if you are supporting an indigenous entrepreneur” Miigwetch--


I am waubshki-migisi

My name is Elaine Kwandibens. I am Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Mushkego Cree, and French Heritage registered with Whitesand First Nations in Ontario. I am from the Loon Clan on my paternal side, and Sturgeon Clan on my maternal side. I grew up in the community of Namaygoosisagun on the southwest corner of Wabakimi Park in Ontario, Canada. I have lived on Vancouver Island, British Columbia for 28 years. In my Anishinaabek language, "Mino-bimaadiziwin" ( ᒥᓄ-ᐱᒫᑎᓯᐎᓐ) means  "lead a good life". I strive to maintain a balance in my daily life through my hobbies of photography, sewing and bead work. I am  reconnecting to ceremony and spirituality.

I am open to do work with your community, offering workshops-beading, sewing and teachings.

Custom made ribbon skirts and ribbon shirts, 100% cotton, send an example of fabric color or print, with three colors significant to you

For more info, email:

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