CWB: Chronic Wasting Beads 2019

Deer hide, nylon thread, glass and plastic seed beads


Cardinal-McTeague presents science and health communication of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) through a cultural lens. Here he uses Métis and Cree floral beadwork to depict the protein structure of normal and misfolded prions and the progression of the disease. On the right, coloured beads encode different amino acid alleles associated with incubation rates, which impact transmission properties of the disease.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is an always fatal prion disease affecting cervids. This disease has never been transmitted to humans but evolutionary dynamics suggest it is possible and would be difficult to detect. The spread of CWD in North America has significant impacts on Indigenous food sovereignty and way of life, yet monitoring, research, and public outreach continues to exclude Indigenous communities.

About the Artist

Warren Cardinal-McTeague

Métis, Cree, Irish American

Born 1988, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Lives and works in Montréal, Québec, and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada