Sewing ourselves together : clothing, decorative arts and the expression of Metis and Half Breed identity

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Farrell Racette, Sherry
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When I was a university student, I worked at a summer education program in The Pas in northern Manitoba. There I met three women from the Manitoba Metis Federation who had obtained a grant to teach people who worked with their children. Tired of requests to come into classrooms to teach children beadwork, they had decided that the best use of their time and skills was to "teach the teachers" with the expectation that beadwork would be incorporated into the curriculum. The women seemed to take special care that I learned what they had to teach. Maybe it was because I was the only aboriginal woman in the workshop; maybe it was because I was interested. Kathleen Delaronde, a traditional artist of the highest caliber, was one of those women. I got to know her and her family and during another northern summer, I stayed at their home and learned at her kitchen table. Nobody in my family did beadwork but I felt an immediate connection with beads and leather.