Indigenous doll maker from Chippewas of the Thames a big hit on social media


Audrey Wilson says her COVID-19 hobby of creating Indigenous dolls has brought her a lot of joy – and fans on social media who love them.

Wilson made her first doll in 2020, months into the pandemic from her home on Chippewas of the Thames, a small community 200 km west of Toronto.

The detailed dolls can take up to four days to make and she charges $125.

“This is my first one I’ve made with beadwork, and I made her with beadwork. She’s not done yet and she will be going to my daughter, and I’m going to be doing more of these with beadwork,” she said.

“I don’t know, some people tell me it’s not enough, some people say oh, isn’t that a lot?  But it’s my first time and I’m just learning myself”

Wilson said she’s shipped dolls across Canada, the United States and Germany.

Her top seller, she says, is her Every Child Matters doll.

She says it’s important to her because her grandmother attended a residential school.

“And my first doll of that is this little girl and she is carrying her moccasins and carrying a feather, so and on the board, you can see it says ‘Every Child Matters,’” she said.

Wilson has fibromyalgia and has been retired for five years.

She says her hobby keeps her busy.

Leanne has a certificate in broadcasting and has more than 12 years of radio news experience, both as an anchor and reporter in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The Métis journalist is a passionate writer and born storyteller and loves to connect with people and learn about their life experiences.