Thelma Squirrel

South Slave
Fort Providence
PO Box 38
Fort Providence, NT X0E0L0

Artist Story

Art and making new things has always been really inspiring for me, and it forces me to think creatively. I’m always trying to create new projects, or make things in a style that haven’t quite been done before with traditional materials. A lot of the northern arts for me is keeping the traditions strong, although I always get excited about the outcome of a piece too.

Fort Providence is where I was born and grew up, and the techniques were passed down to me from my mother when I was about 14. I used to watch her work with beads all the time, and eventually started trying to follow along. I’ve been learning and working with traditional arts ever since.

I really like trying new things. I’ve been making gun-cases out of moose hide, but instead of using one large piece I’ve been using many small pieces and creating a patch-work style. They can take up to a year to make, but the finished product is worth the time. I’ve also been working on various styles of bags and backpacks with moose hide. In the end I feel that our style of art is really important to me and our younger generations; it keeps our tradition strong, but it’s also to fight against keeping our culture from fading.

Artist Bio: 

Thelma Squirrel was born in Fort Providence, NT.  She describes herself as an "established" artist.  She has been an artist for 17 years.  Thelma was inspired by her mother.  Thelma is a self taught artist.

Last Updated: October 6, 2015

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