When I came back from residential school in 1957, I was 14 years old. Once I finished my chores I would sit and watch my older sister as she did sewing and beading. One day she said to me, “if you really want to sew you can start something,” and she cut me uppers with a flower drawn on it and I beaded it. I didn’t do a good job so for a couple weeks she made me do it over again until after three weeks I finally I got it right. It had little blue flowers.
That next summer, I wanted to put a little slipper together for one of my nieces so my sister cut the slipper for me and showed me the stitches. I had to do that little slipper over six times. Then my sister said, “I’m not going to teach you anymore, you have to learn on your own”. After that, I remember looking at my brother and dad’s mitts while they were drying. I looked at how they were done and I did it. Every time I did a little part I would hide it because I didn’t know if it was right. My great, great grandma came one day and said, “who made that mitt because it looks right, it looks good”. I said I had done it and she just gave me a big hug.
I teach my two granddaughters how to sew and they do it very well. It feels so good to pass the knowledge and teach them never to give up on anything. Never.