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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 Adam Avery
2017 master artist and apprentice
Moran (Mackinac County) and Mount Pleasant (Isabella County)
Anishnabeg birch bark containers

Ron Paquin has served as a master artist for several apprentices in the Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. He is a proud member of the Sault Ste. Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians, working regularly with his tribe’s cultural division to keep their material culture traditions alive. He is known as a preserver of traditional skills and teaches others of his tribe about their heritage. His many traditional skills include storytelling, fishing lore, making birch bark containers, antler and bone carvings, knives, drums, quill boxes, beadwork, black ash baskets, and birch bark canoes. He has taught classes at Bahtewing Charter School, Ziibiwing Cultural Center, and the St. Ignace Museum of Ojibwa Culture, to name a few. In 2003 Ron was honored with a Michigan Heritage Award, recognizing his mastery of Ojibwe traditions, especially birch bark canoe making.  In 2013 Ron was one of twelve Native artists to receive a prestigious Artist Fellowship from the national Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.

Apprentice Adam Avery is a direct descendant of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. He comes from the Red Arrow family, who are known for their black ash basketry, and traveled with them throughout his adolescence performing traditional dances and educating the public about Anishinabek culture. He became interested in beadwork in his teens and continues to practice these traditions today. Ron has been mentoring Adam for years through shared work on canoe and basketry project. Adam hopes to glean more knowledge from his mentor and build his skills through this apprenticeship in order to share with younger generations and his broader community.

-Micah Ling

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