Sagkeeng First Nation beader’s work ends up on Whoopi Goldberg’s neck

A Manitoba woman is elated after seeing her elaborate beadwork around the neck of movie star and host of The View Whoopi Goldberg.

Mish Daniels, a member of Sagkeeng First Nation, nearly lost it when she turned on Monday’s episode of The View and noticed Goldberg wearing her handmade red jingle dress dancer medallion.

“I lost my voice yesterday morning because I was screaming so much,” said Daniels, who was raised in Winnipeg and now lives in Selkirk, Man.

“It’s like you’re winning the lottery or something, and I just can’t believe my little fingers and my work made it to New York City and Whoopi Goldberg and The View.”

Goldberg, who starred in Ghost and The Colour Purple and has won Academy, Emmy, Tony and Grammy awards for her film, television, stage and comedy work, wore the large medallion on The View again on Tuesday.

The first dancer medallion Daniels made was for and crafted in the image of her niece, a traditional powwow dancer.

Since then Daniels has been selling her work at powwows and elsewhere.

Initially she didn’t know whether they’d be popular.

“I never thought in a million years they would get to Whoopi Goldberg.”

The necklace ended up in Goldberg’s hands in a circuitous way. Daniels sold it to Connie Greyeyes from Fort St. John, B.C., who ordered a red jingle dress medallion to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Greyeyes was also an organizer at a recent conference in Vancouver, where she had a chance encounter with Goldberg.

The conference, part of a project on the impacts of industry on Indigenous women and girls, was at a hotel where Goldberg was attending a different conference. Goldberg was drawn by the smell of smudging, a traditional ceremony that involves burning plants.

Goldberg, who Daniels said is involved in the MMIWG cause in the U.S., spoke with Greyeyes and told her how much she admired the medallion she was wearing.

“Whoopi kept looking at the medallion Connie was wearing and I am Ojibway, and in our culture and belief system, when somebody admires something of yours like that, it’s protocol to give it away,” Daniels said.

“Connie messaged me right away after and said, ‘Oh Mish, I need a new good medallion, I gifted my medallion to Whoopi!'”

The two excitedly wondered over the phone whether Goldberg would wear the piece on The View.

“I was jumping up and down with my niece and nephew,” when she saw it, Daniels said. “I scared the bejesus out of them.”

The slate of hosts on the show didn’t get a chance to discuss the significance of Goldberg’s medallion because they were wrapped up in a heated debate about something else, Daniels said.

“That McCain girl, she’s very political. They were too busy arguing about Trump — they didn’t even get to it,” Daniels said.

Daniels’ phone has been ringing off the hook with people placing orders for bead work, she said.

“I need to hire another hand with all the orders I got!”

She sells cars for a living, but her true passion has always been beadwork.

“I just can’t believe it,” she said. “And now I am going to be beading until the pigs fly.”


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