• top frame 
  • Little boy, Fort Franklin, (Great Bear Lake), Northwest Territories
  • Magnifying Glass

Little boy, Fort Franklin, (Great Bear Lake), Northwest Territories, 1950s.
Canadian Museum of Civilization, S73-504.

Baby in birchbark cradle sling.
Alaska State Library Collection,

A Diversity of Styles

Sewing for Children

“In the earlier days, whenever there was to be a celebration of some sort then the people would sew a great deal to get ready for the occasion. They would sew moccasins embroidered either with beads or with silk. They would do a lot of sewing for their youngsters for special occasions whether it was for Confirmations, Weddings, Christmas Concerts, Easter Day, or for their birthdays and/or even for special gifts.”
Louisa Bella Ross, Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories, 1991

Providing children with warm protective clothing has always been an important part of an Athapaskan woman's work. Often, the care and artistry put into making footwear and other items for children far exceeded the practical requirements.

Today, factory-made footwear is readily available and very popular, but the making of Athapaskan-style slippers and boots for children continues as an expression of love and of pride in Native ancestry.