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Atikamekw fans gift beaded medallions to Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo

Trujillo wore medallions during the heavy metal band’s 2 Montreal shows

Robert Trujillo wearing the medallion whilst walking through the crowd of fans.

Robert Trujillo wearing the medallion Sipi Flamand beaded during Metallica's show the Olympic Stadium on August 11, 2023, in Montreal.

Photo: Brett Murray/Metallica/Instagram


When Sipi Flamand traveled to Montreal to see Metallica perform in concert over the weekend, the last thing he expected was to see his beadwork on stage — worn by bassist Robert Trujillo.

I was really surprised, said Sipi Flamand, who is also the chief of the Atikamekw community of Manawan, located about 260 kilometres north of Montreal. 

I had no expectation that this would happen, even less at the same time — in the evening watching the show.

Metallica performed two concerts at the Olympic Stadium Friday and Sunday, as a part of the heavy metal band's M72 World Tour, named after their latest album, 72 Seasons.

Sipi beaded a medallion in 2013 of the band's ninja star icon featuring the four Ms of Metallica's original 1983 logo.

He gifted it to his cousin, Danik Létourneau, who wore it to Friday's show. A video of Létourneau slipping the medallion around Trujillo's neck as he approached the crowd went viral on social media after being shared on Metallica's Instagram account. 

"It happened during my favourite song, Harvester of Sorrow, and I am very lucky, Létourneau said. After giving it to him, I told him 'it's Indigenous' and he raised his fist."

Sipi said he was proud to see Trujillo, who is Mexican and Taos Pueblo, wear the medallion. 

A beaded medallion.Enlarge image (new window)

The medallion beaded by Sipi Flamand.

Photo: Submitted by Sipi Flamand

Medallions are very significant… that can represent identity, clans, history, and the Metallica medallion is like an identity, he said.

Second medallion gifted

On Sunday, Trujillo received a second medallion beaded by another member of Manawan. It was beaded by Dennys Flamand.

She made the medallion for her partner Lionel Petiquay to wear to the concert, but said he decided to give it to a friend who had floor tickets to offer it to Trujillo.

I was moved and jumping for joy when I recognized the medallion on Rob's neck, said Dennys.

The fact that he wore it... he will be able to live with a creation that I spent hours working on, putting all my effort, my passion, and my appreciation for this group.

A beaded medallion.Enlarge image (new window)

Dennys Flamand spent three days beading this medallion for her partner to wear at the Metallica concert in Montreal on August 13, 2023.

Photo: Submitted by Dennys Flamand

Dennys Flamand spent three days — working 12 hours a day — beading the medallion. She said she signed the back and is excited at the idea that Trujillo will know her name.

For me, beadwork is like medicine. It works a lot on my concentration, my self-esteem, my patience and meticulousness, she said.

She said listening to Metallica is similar, and has helped her overcome difficult times in her life. 

I think it's the same for the other Atikamekw fans in my community, said Dennys.

The Atikamekw of Manawan are big fans of the group. The community looked empty yesterday because everyone had gone to Montreal for the show.


Ka’nhehsí:io Deer (new window) · Journalist

Ka’nhehsí:io Deer is a Kanien’kehá:ka journalist from Kahnawà:ke, south of Montreal. She is currently a reporter with CBC Indigenous covering communities across Quebec.