Submitted by: Cora Bunn, MNO Grand River Métis Council President

TK arts group
Participants of the birch bark basket workshop.

The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Grand River Métis Council recently hosted two Traditional Knowledge workshops on quillwork and beaded pendants as well as birch bark basket making.

The quillwork and beaded pendant workshop taught participants how to insert porcupine quills in a feature motif into birch bark. Participants then assembled a pendant with beading trim. They were then taught how to create traditional three bead picot edges to finish the pendant.

At the birch bark basket with quillwork embellishment workshop participants were taught how to respectfully and carefully use porcupine quills. They first worked the quills into the first layer of birch bark, assembled the basket and used sweet grass as a finish along the top of the basket, lashing it on with sinew.

TK arts
(Left) Birch bark basket with quillwork embellishment. (Right) Quillwork and
beaded pendants.

Both workshops were facilitated by local Aboriginal artisan Naomi Smith. Participants of the workshops included members from the MNO Grand River and Credit River Métis Councils as well as other members of the local Aboriginal community.

The workshops were great successes and enjoyed by all who participated.