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Mendhi hands by Pushpa Jain. Photographer unknown. All rights reserved.Fish decoy. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Embroidered dress detail. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Cedar bird by Glen VanAntwerp. Photo by Al Kamuda. All rights reserved.
Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Awards



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Ron Paquin and Nathan Wright
2012 master artist and apprentice Cheboygan (Cheboygan County) & Petoskey (Emmet County)
birch bark containers


Ron Paquin, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is known as a preserver and teacher of traditional skills. In 2003 Ron was honored with a Michigan Heritage Award, recognizing his mastery of Ojibwe traditions, especially birch bark canoe making. He is also known for his storytelling and making birch bark containers, antler and bone carvings, knives, drums, quill boxes, beadwork, and black ash baskets. In 2012 Ron mentored Nathan Wright of Petoskey in the making of birch bark containers. The son of an Ojibwe culture revivalist, Nathan is also very interested in learning more about traditional medicines and uses the birch bark containers to store herbs and plants. He describes his work on the apprenticeship as “working with Mother Nature to produce lost art.”

-Lynne Swanson

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