As a master weaver of Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian techniques, Delores is the only native weaver who knows the seventeen endings of these types of basketry. Sharing her knowledge is not only rewarding to her but assures her that her art will survive. As a result she is providing a class to teach the process of hand weaving a traditional Raven’s Tail robe using thigh spun warp and merino wool. The class is offered to community members of all ages and the robe is expected to be finished by December 2010. As a result of her grant from FPF, Delores has leveraged additional funding for her project from the Alaska State Arts Council. Classes are already underway.
Linda, a doll maker from South Dakota, teaches beadwork classes every week through a program called “Okiciyapi”, for tribal youth in residential care. Here, volunteers such as Linda share their talents to teach beadwork, regalia making, singing, etc. Linda will teach the process of making traditional regalia by making a traditional regalia woman doll. Her grant will cover supplies for the doll as well as for the kids to mimic her techniques. A new computer and software will allow the children to be able to assist in creating their own design. Linda is dedicated to helping youth who are separated from their families so they may have a support system and engage in cultural activities.
For the past fifteen years, Denise has offered workshops on making dance regalia for school, community and tribal organizations. Denise will use her grant to teach the youth regalia making at the JDC on the Rosebud reservation where she currently works. This will provide a positive and healthy way for them to connect to their culture and will give them a sense of accomplishment, self worth and cultural identity. She has also planned a trip to the NMAI to enhance her knowledge of the historical context of beadwork and traditional clothing.
Ash and Sweet Grass Basketry
In 2009, Molly was awarded FPF’s Artist in Business Leadership fellowship. With this award she was able to move her teaching space from her kitchen and renovate a space where she could teach members of her community on a regular basis the art of basket making. Molly was invited to apply again this year to fund classes and workshop in her new space. Molly will also offer basket demonstrations at local museums, agricultural fairs, and schools.
Cheyenne River Lakota
An award winning photographer and author, Mary comes to First Peoples Fund with a Lakota Winter Count project for the youth of Tiospaye Topa School on the Cheyenne River Reservation. Mary has purchased 17 digital cameras for the youth who will each take one or two photographs each month that have a story behind them as they create their own winter count. The winter counts will be presented at a community gathering at the end of the project, and the school has decided to make this project part of the students grade. The School has agreed to take responsibility for printing student photographs and will be provided a diverse curriculum that can be incorporated with social studies, language, communication skills or art classes. Mary will make a trip to the school each quarter to further encourage the kids. Until recently, even Mary had no idea how important her project was going to be to the students. After a recent ice storm left the reservation in a state of emergency, and leaving hundreds without power. Children have only recently returned to school. In an effort to help the school, Mary has secured donations from Cherokee Nation (OK), Air Force, U of Kansas, Indianapolis Colts, MN Vikings, Overbrook Public Library, U of Nebraska, to name a few. They have donated items such as notebooks, glue sticks, backpacks, key chains, wooden yo-yo's, totes, winter count books and bookmarks. Mary delivered these in March to the kids who were extremely grateful. Learning their own history as they work on their winter counts through story telling is one way to show the kids that the gangs on reservations pale in comparison to their own rich cultural traditions. It is also teaching them that if they don't take control, someone else will be telling their histories instead of them.
Pete, a master carver, comes back to First Peoples Fund after receiving the CSA award in 2004 and CC in 2006. Pete has committed himself to creative development and freedom. He will build an inventory of work for future shows and will continue to support and mentor community artists. Specifically, Pete will work with his son, Paul Peterson in a year-long intensive apprenticeship to develop and strengthen his professional and creative skills. Pete feels the strong need to leave his skills and knowledge in capable hands.