I began creating my own traditional arts and crafts when I was an adult. My mother taught me how to bead and to sew my own pair of moccasins when I was in my early twenties. She designed and sewed a lot of interesting traditional art for people, and as a result I learned how to sew from watching her. She was a very creative and artistic women. Since then I have found that I learn and teach through hands-on experience and benefit greatly from elder mentorships.
I enjoy using natural materials like porcupine quills for jewellery, and caribou and moose hair for tufting. Of course, I love beading and sewing all type types of clothing like moccasins, gauntlet gloves and vests. I also enjoy making willow wreaths and furniture using babiche weaving.
I enjoy working with elders and youth to teach all aspects of sewing - from designing and cutting out patterns on hide, to putting it together and finishing it with beading, embroidery and fur trim. Young women under 30 are very interested in learning and creating their own designs - and they are really good! They are really proud of their end product and it also builds positive self-esteem.
I like the traditional patterns used by the elders. My daughter calls them old school designs! I love how you can get involved in creating something and become focused on the work. It is a traditional form of art therapy.