Teaching the art of ribbon skirt making to Métis citizens

Ribbon skirts have a rich history among Indigenous people, initially crafted from hides and adorned with plant-based pigments.

Over time, the introduction of European trade goods like cotton and ribbons transformed the materials while preserving the meanings and teachings of these garments. 

The skirt’s silhouette mirrors the shape of the Mikiiwaap (Cree), tepi (Dakota) or tipi in English. As the skirt grazes the earth’s surface, a connection to Mother Earth is established, ensuring that prayers are heard. Wearing a ribbon skirt signifies empowerment and a remembrance of sacredness, an act of revealing one’s identity to Mother Earth.

To preserve this cultural heritage, the Moon River Métis Council in Ontario is organizing six workshops that will teach the art of ribbon skirt making across its extensive region. Thanks to funding from the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund, the workshops will cover all associated costs, including a teacher’s honorarium, materials, and facility rentals. 

This initiative will provide opportunity for social connections among Métis participants and contribute to the preservation of Indigenous craft and spirituality.

Diocese of Peterborough