Crystal Behn

Crystal Behn- Long Hide Earrings on an Indigenous woman

Crystal Behn

Crystal Behn

Dene and Carrier of Treaty 8 Traditional Territory, British Columbia

Crystal was born and raised in Treaty 8 Traditional Territory. She is of Dene and Carrier ancestry with her maternal roots from Fort Nelson, BC and her paternal roots from Fort St. James, BC.

After watching her mother lose her battle with cancer as a young adult and struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, Crystal turned to her Grandma Mary in her ongoing successful sobriety to reignite her connection with her culture.

Crystal Behn-Profile

Crystal has dedicated her journey from learning the traditional ways of harvesting meat and fur and the art of beading and moccasin-making so she can pass on the generations of knowledge to anyone that is interested. This is a living culture that was severely impacted by colonialism, and Crystal believes it is her responsibility to teach the next generation.

In October of 2017, Crystal became a storyboot artist for the company Manitobah Mukluks. The same day her products launched they were already selling out! During this time Crystal also began her new small home-based business called ‘In Her Footsteps Authentic Dene Designs.’ From hand sketching her logo which represents her Mother, Auntie and Grandmother, to going out on the land to harvest natural elements used for her creations, Crystal aims to bring authentic, beautiful art to everything she makes.

In 2018 and again in 2022 Crystal was selected for a full scholarship to the Toni Onley Artists Project for professional and emerging artists. The same pair of beaded mukluks that earned her first scholarship were chosen again alongside a moose hide shawl for the Redress exhibit at Two Rivers. These beautiful mukluks have also earned a first-place win for a traditional art contest within her community. A Chosen Award, People’s Choice Award, and honorable mention were also given to Crystal during the Peace Liard Regional Juried Art Exhibit in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Her beaded mask was chosen for a touring collective for the Breathe. project in which artists from across the country have the chance to create masks representing the COVID-19 pandemic, and is currently on display at the Galt Museum in Lethbridge Alberta. Crystal is also the recent recipient of the 2021 Fulmer Award for First Nations Art awarded by the BC Achievement Foundation.

Crystal is now an Indigenous programmer at Two Rivers Gallery where she shares her skills and knowledge to adults and can be requested to teach children grade 1-12 in community schools. Please contact Crystal for any inquiries.

For Crystal, the success has been overwhelming and encouraging. As her wait list for her beautiful, handcrafted items continues to grow, she remains dedicated on producing art that is truly representative of her roots.

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