OUR TEAM

TEACHERS

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BRENDA (she/her)
Maskwacis Cree Nation

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ORGANIZERS/
TEACHERS

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AMBER (she/her)
Neyaashiinigmiing
First Nation

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BELMO (they/them)
Sandy Lake First Nation

BEZE (they/them)
Aamjiwnaang First Nation

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BRENDA LEE (she/her/hers/auntie/kohkom) is a Plains Cree First Nations woman from the Treaty Six Territory, born and raised in Maskwacis Alberta. Brenda was fortunate enough to have spent her formative years with her grandmother: Nancy Oldpan Nee-Roasting, who taught her how to sew, bead, harvest and learn the cultural teachings. Brenda developed the interest and knowledge in these art forms exploring her culture through art.

Brenda went back to school to enhance her creative skills as an artist , she enrolled in Lac La Biche College, Alberta in the fall of 2005-2007 the programs were: Artisan and Native Cultural Arts Instructor a 2 year program, one of the courses offered was the 13 step traditional hide tanning by Elder Elsie Quintel and Instructor Ruby Sweetman. There she learned the traditional way of harvesting a home tanned hide. Through her 16 years as a hide tanner Brenda has learned several ways of processing hides and continues on that journey.  

Brenda has worked in different areas over the years in Cultural Camps, Universities, High Schools, Health and Wellness Organizations, Friendship Centers and Museums, she’s taught beading techniques, Tanning hides, tipi making, moccasin making, harvesting porcupine quills and techniques, regalia making , ceremonial articles and producing items for private collections.

Brenda’s focus is on restoring our cultural heritage through the arts, specializing and working primarily within the cultural arts programs. She is able to deliver a step by step instructional workshop to develop a superior quality product, to expand and enhancing creativity in reclaiming our pride as First Nations peoples. It is important for Brenda to teach individuals who are willing to learn about the creation of the product and what it takes to construct it.

Brenda resides in the beautiful Nipissing First Nation located in Ontario and continues to instruct with natural and contemporary materials and is becoming a sought after Artisan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMBER SANDY (She/ Her/ Hers) Amber Sandy is a Queer Anishinaabekwe from Neyaashiinigmiing (Chippewas of Nawash First Nation) living in the French River area. She is an artist with a focus on leather work, beadwork and moose and caribou hair tufting. Amber is a hide tanner and uses moose, deer and fish skins to make leather by hand. As the coordinator of Indigenous Knowledge and Science Outreach for SciXchange at 'X' University, she is an enthusiastic advocate for Indigenous Science. Her work focuses on the intersections of Indigenous knowledge and western science in her approach to conservation, environmental science, education and art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BELMO (they/them/theirs) is a member of Sandy Lake First Nation living in Thunder Bay, Ontario. They are a Two-Spirit, non binary, indigiqueer aspiring artist with focus in beadwork and leatherwork. Belmo spent some time as an apprentice with friend and hide tanner, Julia Prinselaar. Summer 2021 they facilitated a hide camp together in Thunder Bay. They are a bit of a hide camp fanatic and has been to 7 camps since summer 2020. Belmo has hopes and dreams to teach hide tanning back home in Sandy Lake and the surrounding communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEZE GRAY (they/ them/ theirs) is a Two-Spirit, trans, non binary Anishnaabe/Oneida/Munsee/Lunaape from Aamjiwnaang First Nation. Beze’s main focuses in life are Language, Cultural revitalization and being a Two Spirit youth advocate for environmental racism and injustices their community Aamjiwnaang faces. They are a land and water protector speaking out about Canada's petrochemical (oil) industry and it's impacts on the waters, lands and people in the Great Lakes. Beze graduated from Georgian College in Anishnaabemowin & Program Development and continues to study language.

 

Beze started out learning hunting and making rawhide in their Lunaape community in Moraviantown. They learned from Uncles how to harvest from the deer and process a raw hide. Since then, Beze was one of the youth apprentices from the 2020 Niizh Manidook Hide Camp and learned to fully soften and complete a hide to smoked Buckskin. They have also finishing a moose hide and have helped on several other deer and moose hides. They learned from different nations and received guidance on hide tanning from Metis, Lunaape, Dene, and Cree teachings. Beze has been a treasurer /co-facilitator with Niizh Manidook Hide Camp since 2020 and volunteered at the first NMHC in 2019. Beze is a founding member of Niizh Manidook Hide Camp, The Toxic Tour; an awareness raising tour through Canada's Chemical Valley and ASAP (Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HUNTER CASCAGNETTE (they/them/theirs) is a Queer, Non-Binary / Trans interdisciplinary artist and earthworker of Mixed French/Scottish/English Settler and Georgian Bay Métis ancestry from the Southern Georgian Bay/ Lake Huron region.

Hunter’s visual art practice is centered around naturally dyed deer rawhides and traditional brain tanning of deer and moose hides. Their family’s relationships to hunting deer and moose got Hunter involved in hide tanning. Hunter is a co-founder and hide tanning mentor with Niizh Manidook Hide Camp.

 

Attending hide camps has been life changing for Hunter. They’ve had the opportunity to learn with Indigenous knowledge carriers; Stephanie Poole (Dene), Hovak Johnson (Inuit/Dene), Hanna Catholique (German), Brenda Lee (Plains Cree), Melaw Nakehk’o (Dene), Mandee MacDonald (Swampy Cree), Brian and Paulette Bird (Cree), Amber Sandy (Anishinaabe) and Jodi-Lynn Maracle (Kanien’kehá:ka), which has influenced and inspired Hunter's hide tanning practice. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TER (TERRA, TERRIBLE, MNAAN MAD KWE) (they/she) 

 

I consider myself an artist, maybe even a modern nomad (ha). Having been raised both on-reserve in two communities and in the city, I have had a unique set of opportunities with both hide tanning and other aspects of my life. Most recently, I apprenticed with Niizh Manidook, which allowed me to have the confidence and experience necessary to start a few of my own hides after my apprenticeship and hide camp! 

 

TYRA ROOTE (she/they)

My names Tyra Roote, my native name is Zhawan Ahnung (south star). My home community is Christian island also known as Beausoliel First Nation. I am a 22 year old mother to a 3 year old boy named Mickee. I started my hide journey in hopes to carry it on to my family & community.

PEER MENTORS

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HUNTER (they/them)
Georgian Bay Métis

TER (they/she)
Beausoleil & Nipissing
First Nation

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TYRA (she/they)
Beausoleil First Nation