Indigenous arts at the forefront at CASA May weekend in Lethbridge – Prairie Post

Indigenous arts are a powerful bridge for reconnecting with culture, learning traditions and bringing together diverse groups to celebrate Indigenous cultures, said Natalie Pepin from Reskilled Life.

Don’t miss the ultimate Lethbridge Indigenous Arts Immersion Weekend at CASA (located at 230 8 Street South) in May. Three popular Indigenous arts workshops will be featured including Metis beading, moccasin making and brain tanning.

“With people from all backgrounds welcome, these workshops are a welcoming place where urban Indigenous populations can experience their traditions and others from all backgrounds can expand their skills,” Pepin explained.

A traditional Metis beading workshop will be held May 29 from 6-9 p.m. “Join us for a cultural immersion through art and stories. Connect with the Metis culture through one of our most celebrated and cherished skills, flower bead work,” Pepin said.

This course, Pepin noted, will teach those in attendance how to design and bead traditional designs using glass beads for moccasins, mittens and more. “We will provide all materials for you to create your first beaded artwork on melton.” Tickets for this workshop are $40.

A moccasin making workshop will be held May 30 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Whether you are eager to explore leather working techniques or are wanting to create a perfect personalized gift for a special person, this workshop will walk you step-by-step through the process of making your first pair of moccasins,” Pepin said.

In this workshop, those in attendance will learn:

•How to select materials for making footwear

•How to create a footwear pattern that will fit you just right

•How to cut and work with leather

•Lacing techniques

•Cutting and sewing furs

•Embellishment options and basic beading

Tickets for this workshop are $175.

A brain tanning hides workshop will be held May 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with an option tanning tool building day on May 30 from 5-9 p.m. – where participants will build their own tanning tools).

Are you intrigued by the idea of making your own suede, buckskin or tanned hides for moccasins, crafts, clothing or to be more connected to the sources of your clothing? Does the idea of participating in the full-life cycle of your garments excite you? Do you want to preserve the memories of the hunt without the cost of a tannery? Or maybe you’d like to commemorate the life of an animal you raised?

“It could also be traditional skills are just a part of who you are and you have a burning desire to reconnect with our collective roots,” added Pepin. “Regardless of your motivation, this workshop is offered up as a guide as you set out on this journey.”

According to Pepin, this full-day workshop will introduce you to the concepts and sills involved in turning an animal hide into buckskin (a hair off, soft fabric like “leather”) and hair on hide (think, cow hide rug).

You will learn about:

•How to properly remove a hide in order to preserve it

•How to preserve a hide until tanning

•Natural and easy to access materials for tanning tides

•How tanning works

•The physiology of skin

•How to process both hair on and hair off skins

•Scrapping hides

•Pickling hides

•Wringing methods

•Acidifying buckskin for a soft and supple fabric like hide

•Brain tanning solutions

•Stretching methods and tools

•Smoking hides to keep them water resistant

“This is a hands-on workshop where you will have the opportunity to work on hides at each stage of the tanning process,” said Pepin. This workshop is $115.

Photos submitted

Natalie Pepin from Reskilled Life

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