Charlene Raven Tolley, Raven’s Nest, art and craft supply store, beadwork, hand drums, workshops, dreamcatchers, crafts, Indigenous Artist, First Nations, Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada, Pass The Feather

Charlene Raven Tolley

A r t i s t

 Charlene Raven Tolley, Bear Clan and Algonquin grandmother from Kitigan Zibi and lives in Maniwaki . She’s been beading for over 20 years. Charlene specializes in beaded dream catchers, jewelry and creates stunning painted hand drums. Charlene travels extensively on the powwow trail selling her work under the name of Raven’s Nest. 


Raven’s Nest specializes in beaded dreamcatchers, beaded earrings, beaded medallions, beaded lanyards, painted hand drums. and supplies such as epoxy cabs, gems, acrylic mirrors, rhinestone banding, pellon and vinyl backing sheets.  Raven’s Nest also sells miscellaneous items such as hooks, fingernail posts, etc. For beads , I carry delicas, seed and some glass cut beads. You can find Raven’s Nest at several powows throughout the year such as: Kanehsatake, Pikwágnagán, Kahnawake, Odawa Akwesasne and Kitigan Zibi.


 Beading has been an important part of First Nations culture for approximately 8000 years prior to European contact. Beads were made of shell, pearl, bone, teeth, stone, and fossil stems. When Europeans first came to Canada they made an effort to develop good relations with the First Nations and beads played a significant role in these relationships. The beads that the Europeans gave and/ or traded were large ceramic pony beads, glass beads, chevron bead and tiny seed beads. The pony bead was around 1/8th inch diameter and was used for bone chokers and breastplates. The chevron bead was also called the star, patermoster (our father’s), or sun bead. It was a colorful bead and was more of an oval shaped bead. The tiny seed beads were called Manido-min-esah, which means little spirit seeds, gift of the Manido. The first thing that First Nations began making when receiving these beads were necklaces. When smaller beads came around the beads were incorporated into loom weaving, Beads were then used in ceremonies, decorate clothing, baskets, dolls, which were then used to trade at the trading post.

Aboriginal Perspectives, 2011. Retrieved May 06, 2020, from


Charlene is an experienced beader that will walk all participants through the process of creating their own beaded earrings. Please note that this workshop is suitable for beginners. Contact Charlene directly to inquire about booking your workshop. This is your chance to try your hand at an ancient art. 

Kitigan Zibi, QC

Raven's Nest

(819) 334 3324