Free US shipping on orders over $150

Frequently Asked Questions

Shipping


When will my order ship out?

We ship orders within 1-2 business days. Business days are Monday-Friday. We do not ship on the following days: all USPS holidays, the last Friday of July (Saginaw Chippewa holiday), the last Friday of September (Michigan Indian Day), December 24-26. If we are experiencing a delay in shipping orders, we will notify customers via the banner at the top of this site. 

What shipping methods do you use?

We ship via USPS.

Do you offer free shipping?

We offer free US shipping on orders over $150. You must select the free shipping option at check out. If you select free shipping, we will choose the most economical shipping method for us to ship your package; this often means that it will be a slower option. If you require your order at a certain time, please choose the appropriate shipping method.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes, we ship worldwide. Unfortunately, we cannot ship items that contain shells or leather internationally, owing to customs restrictions.

Eco-conscious shipping

We are striving to reduce our carbon footprint and waste output. We’ve committed to eliminating single use plastic in our packaging materials. We use shipping materials from EcoEnclose; the paper mailers are 100% recycled material. The flap and seal bags are 100% recycled and recyclable. We encourage all of our customers to reuse and recycle their packaging materials.

Can I return/exchange my items?

We strive to make sure that all of our customers are satisfied with their purchase. If you’re not pleased with your handcrafted piece of Anishinaabe art, please Contact Us.

Appropriation and Indigenous History


I’m not indigenous. Can I buy from you?

YES. Absolutely, yes. Our products are made by Anishinaabe artists. By buying from us, you’re helping support traditional artwork and indigenous survivance. For Anishinaabeg, creating is healing, it is indigenous expression in a settler-colonial state. Many of the artists we work with support their families on income from art. We’re very happy and proud to share it with people of all backgrounds.Some items are held sacred by Anishinaabeg and are kept in our communities and families. But you know what? We don’t have those items listed for sale on this website, so you’re totally safe.

I’m from __ tribe and am interested in dancing/learning to bead/etc.

Well you’re in luck! Our other website is powwowsupply.com, where you can find nearly everything needed for creating indigenous beadwork. There’s lots of resources on creating powwow dance regalia, native beadwork and more on Youtube, Facebook, and at many tribal community and urban Indian centers throughout North America.

I’m not native but I still want to bead.

Great! Beads are an ancient form of decoration, found on all continents and dating back tens of thousands of years. (Seriously, we have some archaeologist friends and they find beads all the time) Our sister website, powwowsupply.com has an amazing selection of seed beads, cut beads, fire polish beads and more that are used in many different styles of beadwork.Please note that copying indigenous art is considered appropriation. Falsely advertising art as Indian made is a violation of the US Indian Arts and Crafts Act. Don’t make native-style beadwork if you’re not indigenous. But don’t let that stop you from beading. There’s a universe of possibilities out there without having to copy. Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest and Facebook can all offer insight and support to beginning artists.

I thought all the natives were killed.

Nope.

Why do you say “Indian”? I thought we were supposed to say, “Native American”?

We like to take the stance of “we’ll call ourselves what we like. You can call us by our names.” But since someone reading this FAQ is unlikely to know all our staff by name, you can just say The Bead Team or artists or Native Americans or whatever. Just don’t say “sq**w” or “b***h”. And even “hey you,” can be rude at times.Personally, I have referred to myself as Native American, Indian, American Indian, indigenous, Anishinaabe, Ojibwe, and Saginaw Chippewa, all in the same day, in the same conversation. It really depends on context. Native life can be, complicated…

I like to buy my jewelry without politics.

Okay, well you probably shouldn’t buy from indigenous women then. Just by existing, we are making a political statement.

You use materials made in Europe and Asia!?!?!? I thought Indians were supposed to live off the land.

Yeah, about that… living off the land doesn’t usually involve Wifi and chocolate and espresso and we like those things. Toilet paper is nice too.Also, Anishinaabeg have incorporated trade goods from different cultures from time immemorial. We had established trade routes well before European contact. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the American Great Lakes were a hotbed of international trade. Our language was a lingua franca. Copper kettles and tradecloth were hot items. Those kettles weren’t always used as kettles either. They were often used as raw material for…

**at this point, The Bead Team decided to cut off our founder, Ellie M. She’s working on an MA in Humanities, which has included significant study of Anishinaabe history. She will go on for pages about the fur trade. If you’d like to read more you may want to check out Michael Witgen’s An Infinity of Nations.**

What does Ishkogan mean?

Ishkogan is from Anishinaabemowin (Anishinaabe language). It is literally fire-thing or fire-maker and refers to stones, often flint, used to create sparks, a very old (i.e. pre-contact) form of fire-starting. “Ishkoganing” is the Anishinaabe name of the area occupied by the Saginaw Ojibwe in Mount Pleasant, Michigan (this area is called the Isabella Indian Reservation by the settler-colonial government). Before the establishment of the reservation, Saginaw Anishinaabeg would go to the area to gather flint (and probably hunt). The Anishinaabeg of the Saginaw Bay region were signatories to the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw; later treaties in 1855 and 1865 established the “Isabella Indian Reservation” on swampy ground on the western edges of the Saginaw Valley, far inland from our home on the shores. Some families moved to the reservation while many other continued living in the ancestral villages, closer to the lakeshore. In 1934, The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe…

**again, we have cut Ellie off from writing extensively about tribal history. If you’d like to learn more about the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, we encourage you to visit the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinaabe Culture & Lifeways in Mount Pleasant. Their website can be viewed here (clicking will take you to an external site).**

What does “Anishinaabe” mean?

***oh no, for goodness’ sake, please do not ask this. Ellie will not shut up. She’ll write pages about language families and cultural change over time and space. Seriously. It’s our tribe. Ojibwe people are also called Anishinaabe along with Odawa and Bodewadomii. If you need more info, just Google. Please don’t get her started**

Hey, I saw pics of some of your artists. They’re pretty sexy. Can you introduce me?

F*** off.