Cynthia Hamilton is a talented Ojibwe artist hailing from Treaty 3 with a rich cultural heritage that encompasses both European and First Nations ancestry, including Metis roots. Born in Baudette, Minnesota, to Canadian parents, she was raised in Rainy River, Ontario. Cynthia only recently was granted her Native Status as her Grandmother, and Great Grandmother lost their Native status in Canada when they married non-status men. In 2019, Canada passed a law providing equality for native women, and women and their descendants were given their Native status back. After years of working on personally restoring her lost Native culture, this was one of the most meaningful moments in Cynthia’s life.
As an adult, in the late 1990’s, Cynthia was working on her genealogy when she was inspired by a picture of her Great-Grandmother adorned in beautiful moccasins, Cynthia instantly knew she had to learn the art herself. Despite being far from home in California, she persevered, self-teaching herself through extensive research and experimentation, eventually crafting her own unique patterns. What started as a hobby transformed into a meaningful artistic expression, keeping her family’s cultural traditions alive.
Cynthia’s diverse skills span from crafting traditional moccasins, mukluks and mitts, to portrait painting in pastels, oils, and acrylics. Her dedication to honoring her First Nations and Metis heritage is evident in her work, where she incorporates embroidery designs to pay homage to her Metis roots and integrates traditional Ojibwe florals into her creations. She is also known to blend pop culture themes into her artwork.
Using these skills began a healing journey to regain her Native culture that has spanned the last 25 years.
Cynthia’s artistic journey is a testament to her dedication and passion for preserving and celebrating her rich heritage.
As Cynthia continues to create breathtaking artwork and impart her knowledge through community workshops, her profound connection to her roots remains an essential foundation in all her artistic endeavors.