Creating community through Cultural Art

Our heart lies inside teaching and our community.  Perhaps this part of our humanity is the deepest grieving during this time.  The laughter, the stories, the transformation inside of cultural revitalization is the root of who and what we do.  

We had big plans! like many of you did in March.  And like many of you, we had to get even more creative, more adaptive, and more resilient.  Thanks to a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council we were able to teach an 8 week zoom beading and moccasin class.

Co teachers Michelle Defoe and Sarah Agaton Howes gathered together with 20 makers in the making from across the nation.  Challenging ourselves to teach what is a hands on sharing became an incredible gift in this lonely time.  Our community:

"I want to thank Michelle and Sarah for teaching this class. I bought the moccasin book as soon as I seen it but who knows if I would have ever got any made. I enjoyed seeing everyones work it gave me encouragement to complete these and I`ll never look at a leather couch the same again LOL Chi Miigwech" Theresa

"Thank you Sarah and Michelle for leading this class. It felt great to be creative again. I can't wait to make these with my daughter. Miigwech." Angelica

"I’ve never had so much fun with new people scattered all over. Chi miigwech Michelle and Sarah for your teachings and generosity. I’m so much more confident in my ability to make better makizinikewin and learned so much. I can bead on velveteen, I know not to use quilt bias tape, beading cuffs are goals, and always pick up leather sofas on the side of the road. Ayyyy.

In all seriousness, thank you from the bottom of my Nish heart. I enjoyed getting to know all of you, and this time together made isolation suck a lot less.

Gigawabamin Menawah-" Jen

"I’ve truly enjoyed this class. I missed beading for years and now my fire is lit. It was my pleasure sharing Wednesday evenings with all of you.
Sarah and Michelle, thank you for your time and dedication to pay it forward. You are both gifted teachers with inspiring talent and kind hearts. All my best in your future endeavors.
Nya:weh." Karen

"I can't thank you enough for offering this class. Teaching/learning online is tough but it really encouraging to be able to muddle though it together. I learned so much from you both, and everyone else in the class too (so many questions I never would have thought to ask... plus now I'm ready to field dress a couch! 😜). Chi-miigwech!!" Lindsey

"Miigwech to Sarah and Michelle for teaching this amazing class. I learned and was guided through each step of making the moccasins. You patiently guided and answered questions. Most importantly, you brought together people from all over and we all shared together. Since I didn’t grow up with knowledge of my history, it was a warm and fuzzy feeling. To everyone in the class, thank you for sharing pieces of your lives each week." Renee

And to our resident story tellers, Melissa and Tom!  We salute your wisdom and humor.  There must always be a jokester and an elder.  We have truly appreciated this time with all of you.


Miigwech to you all!  We hope to meet you all in person someday.



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