I didn’t begin to create traditional arts and crafts until 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 did a lot of sewing and designing for other people, as a result I learned how to sew from watching her design and make different kinds of footwear and outerwear. She was a very creative and artistic women.
Today, I enjoy porcupine quilling, moose hair tufting, and making willow wreaths and furniture. Personally, I see traditional artwork much like a community project. Tanning hides requires a lot of cooperation between people! The Friendship Centre has a sewing program held three times a week here in Fort Simpson. Young women under 30 are very interested in learning how to sew traditional footwear, mitts, etc. They are really proud of their end product and it also builds positive self-esteem.
I did not plan on doing traditional sewing. It was something that developed. I like the old patterns used by the older women. My daughter calls them old school designs! I love how you can get involved in creating something and become focused on the work. Your problems just fade away. It is therapy, like an art therapy.