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Artist Story

My mother taught me how to make and sew traditional arts and crafts. Her thought was to teach me how to do everything she knew so I could take care of myself and be independent. My parents, siblings and I lived at Keatue, by grandmas cabin and enjoyed every moment nature had to offer.

One of the most important teachings she had taught me was to tan moose hide. All she has taught me is what I share with my daughter (Jonah) to this day. Learning and teaching about tanning moose hide is an honor, in the respect of taking care of him and his hide. I use the hides I prepare, whether they are moose, caribou or beaver in beading, embroidery, or different stitch techniques. Most of the flower patterns I use were handed down to me by my mom. I have done other items with both her flowers and geometric shapes together.

As a child she would teach Suza and I how to make traditional dolls and all the accessories and tools it needed just as a Dene would need living on the land. From then on I have learned how to make bunting bags, tobacco bags, and traditional clothing. She had taught me how to do rabbit fur weaving, which is rarely done today, so Jonah and I made one together to show to people.

My mother has passed away over 10 years ago and her teachings still inspire me to this day. When we are taught traditional arts and crafts by elders it is meant to inspire, to teach us to be independent and to take care of ourselves as traditional Dene people.

Artist Bio: 

Hilda is born in Fort Simpson and raised on the land for the first twenty years of her life. The last of twelve children born to Elders Fred and Mary Tsetso.  While living on the land Hilda was taught how to tan hides, sew and live the way of our elders.  

A mother of two girls, Hilda has gone to high school and received a diploma in Culinary Arts.  

Today Hilda still makes time to go on the land live her traditional ways, tan hides and sew just as she was taught by her elders.

Last Updated: May 4, 2016

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