TRIBE: Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
LOCATION: Belcourt, North Dakota
Georgianna learned are art of red willow basket making at the age of nine by sitting and watching her grandmother and mother, assisting in cleaning the brances as they did the weaving. Her grandmother Selina learned the art of red willow basket making long ago by watching a migratory worker as they rode a freight train to work. Upon her return home to Dunseith North Dakota she began making baskets, teaching her daughter, Georgianna's mother the art. As the years went on, so did the art of red willow basket making from one generation to the next.
Georgianna's baskets have made their way all over the world. The benefits of making red willow baskets help to place food on the table and clothing and shoes for Georgianna's children and grandchildren. She says, "Growing up in poverty makes me value the simple things in life and reminds me to be thankful for the skills in basket making. I enjoy going into the local schools, community college and the community to explain and teach people of all ages how to make baskets. I feel it is a privilege and honor to be asked to share this beautiful art form."
Georgianna's grandparents and parents have been gone for a while now; yet the beautiful memories and traditions that she grew up with remain with her. "Now it is my turn to pass my knowledge onto my children and grandchildren."