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Native students learn weaving from elders

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All Native American students at Surprise Lake Middle School were invited to attend a basket weaving conference on Friday, Sept. 30 at Great Wolf Lodge. Taught by some of the most experienced weavers in our area, the instructors showed individual students basket weaving techniques and skills related to the traditional and/or contemporary art of the Northwest Native basketry.
When asked what was their favorite and most interesting part of the field trip, students eagerly responded:
Blaine: “Seeing what everyone made.”
Claudia
: “The basket weaving and the bracelet I got to make. Oh, and hanging out with my friends.”
Promiss: “Learning how to weave a turtle.”
MaryAnn: “Making a necklace.”
Gage: “I loved making the Ducks!
Sara: “Seeing the elders basket weaving.”
Allison: “Weaving the necklace was my favorite part of the conference.”
Ty: “I liked weaving the basket.”

After some of the students finished their weaving projects, Fife Schools’ Indian Education Coordinator Martha Sherman took a group of students into the elders area where the elders were weaving many things with different types of materials – purses with cedar, nets and round ornaments with cedar, to name a few.
“The kids were in awe,” Sherman said. “One of my students, when he saw all the fishing baskets, said, ‘That is so cool. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.’ I kind of had to chuckle at him.”

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