I love that sewing is a practical form of art that is practiced across the Northwest Territories. Each region has its own unique designs, patterns and colours that reflect their landscape. My style of art is a blend between modern materials and traditional Gwich’in clothing. It is very reflective of the Fort Macpherson area where I grew up.
I was born into quite a big family with ten brothers and three sisters. Being from a small northern community, our mother had to make most of our clothes. That’s where I picked up some of the techniques and knowledge of sewing from. When my children were young I did the same for them, making northern style parkas, and just went from there. Now I make Gwich’in tops, ribbon shirts, dresses, vests and coats. The Gwich’in tops are really unique – you don’t see them worn anywhere but in the North.
I feel that a lot of my motivation comes from the young people, and to see them proudly wearing their traditional clothing and taking part in the traditional dances. The more that the younger generations know about their heritage and traditions, the prouder they become of who they are.