LOCATION: Ketchikan, AK
Delores Churchill, Haida, is a master basketweaver and living treasure from Ketchikan, AK. Taught by her mother at a young age, she was one of very few youth learning the tradtional way of weaving. Today, she has continued her mother's legacy as a teacher, teaching Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian forms of weaving. Using such materials as spruce root, cedar bark, wool and natural dyes, she creates baskets, hats, robes and other regalia.
"Weaving connects us to the past and teaching passes the weaving art on to the future. Each generation of weavers will contribute their interpretations and artistic expressions to the continuation and growth of thsi vibrant art form. My mother's and my students, and their students, will keep this art alive long after our names are forgotten. Weaving belongs to all of us." - Delores Churchill
It is Delores' dream that others will find the peace, connection, and sheer joy that filled her life because of the many gifts the weaving arts have to offer.
Currently, Delores' work can be seen in Tracing Roots, a heartfelt documentary that follows Delores on her journey to uncover the origins of a spruce root hat found with Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchi, also known as the Long Ago Person Found, in a retreating glacier in the Northern Canada. Her search to understand the roots of the woven hat crosses cultures and borders, and involves artists, scholars and scientists. The documentary raises questions about understanding and interpreting ownership, knowledge and connection.