Episode 48: Candice English of Sisters United + The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers—Tending Your Life Podcast
Listen to the podcast
About the Episode
I’m absolutely geeking out today, because Candice English is on the show. If you’re not a knitter, you may not know Candice. She is the founder of The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers (one of my favorite yarn companies!)—but she’s also the co-founder of Sisters United, a grassroots 501(c)3 dedicated to raising funds and awareness to empower & heal Indigenous women, children, and communities.
In this episode, Candice and I talk about creative process; connection to the land; the lasting effects of colonialism; and transforming how we can heal, care for, and uplift marginalized people—while they are still with us.
(content warning for this episode: Candice and I discuss both residential schools and the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womxn, Girls, and Two Spirit folks. If you are new to these issues, I implore you to listen to our conversation and have a look at the resources in the show notes.)
Born a farm girl, Candice English is the owner and operator at The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers. She embodies her heritage and home state of Montana into all aspects of her work. Candice has lived and experienced The Last Best Place in a myriad of ways.
She writes: “The early years of my life were spent growing up on a farm/ranch 30 miles east of the Blackfeet Reservation, where my Mother, Pauline Matt, was born and raised. Grandma Pauline is the foundation of our family, connected to the earth in immeasurable ways. Rich Native American roots, traditions, strength, and family ways drive us. It embodies all aspects of what we do.
On the other side of the family; an opposite world, we find the heart of big sky country. A rich foundation of ranchers and farmers. In 1954 Dean and Mary Perry moved with their 3 sons (the youngest being ‘The Farmer’), to a ranch on the tip of the highline.”
Candice English is the founder and owner of The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers and the co-founder of the organization Sisters United.
Connect with Candice
About Sisters United
“What started out as a monthly initiative to raise funds for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) has since turned into a life form of its own. Within the first year and with the help of the Fiber Arts community we raised almost $20,000 for organizations who are empowering and supporting Native American Women and created the Sisters United Scholarship that awards one Great Falls Public School student with $5,000 of higher education.
The need for our efforts and organization quickly became evident as we started 2020 off by offering financial support for the search of Selena Not Afraid (Missing and Found Deceased, 2019). And just a few weeks into 2020 we obtained our 501c3. With this nonprofit status we have been able transform our initiative into a grassroots organization that helps create opportunities for Indigenous Women and Children, offer financial support in the ground work to find Missing Indigenous People, and fund essential programs to heal our Indigenous Communities and to keep them safe.”
Links and resources for this episode
- Orange Shirt Day
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (at the University of Manitoba)
- The First Nations Education Steering Committee
- Coalition to Stop Violence Against Indigenous Women
Subscribe & Rate the Show