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The Four

Chippewa Indian and master artist shares his craft with the community

Ron Paquin is a Chippewa Indian from St. Ignace who is nationally known as a master artist. For over 50 years, Ron has been using natural materials like birch bark and porcupine quills to perfect his craft.

“It’s important for people to know how the Indians did do things, you know. They didn’t lay around. They had to make everything” said Native American artist, Ron Paquin.

The Michilimackinac Historical Society partnered with the St. Ignace Public Library to put on a special event for Ron to share his knowledge of his craft and tribe to the community. It ended up being a sold out workshop where people learned how to make a porcupine quill pocket basket.

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“We try to relate the workshops and the programs that we’re doing back to something to do with local history. So obviously the Native American population in the area is very high and we like to preserve those traditions and share them with the community members, help them have an awareness of the different kinds of art and craft that the native people have done” said Molly Paquin a member of the historical society.

This was a four hour class led step by step by Ron, where he demonstrated how Native Americans crafted and made items through natural materials found around them.

“I love crafts and I love the preservation of having the crafts preserved and the arts passed on so that it’s not lost and that we have to recreate it. So, we’re hoping that we will encourage the youth to embrace their heritage and continue that legacy and traditions that we see” workshop attendee Tammy Cruickshank said.

The Historical Society plans to continue to put on more events like this one. To learn more about upcoming events click here.


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