From time to time I receive feed-back from individuals who have read my book. This one really touched my heart. Not only did these young adults master the technique within a single Summer, they’re promoting fingerweaving from ‘officialdom’, their Natural Heritage Education Program. Once again, hope for fingerweaving to live on.
A huge THANK YOU to the staff at Ontario’s Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park:
My name is Jake Paleczny and I’m writing from Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park where I lead the Natural Heritage Education Program. The park is located about a half-hour east of North Bay. This spring I made a trip to the Canadian Canoe Museum where I saw their work with finger weaving (inspired by your book). I purchased a copy for our staff and we have been enjoying it all summer. In addition to interpretive programs for campers we also staff a museum dedicated to voyageur heritage. To make the slow shifts pass by a little quicker we started learning how to finger weave. I have attached some pictures of our work and the three of us who really took to it (Sarah Morden on left, Rebecca Rogge in the centre and myself on the right). We are still working with acrylic yarn but are planning to move to wool next season. We use our sashes on a regular basis in our Voyageur Canoe Tours (where we portray voyageurs). When not in use we display them in the museum. I have also developed a program called “Art of the Voyageur Sash” that gives a brief history and gets people started on weaving (we sold out of your book in the park store later that afternoon). My main sources were the Marius Barbeau book (with a grain of salt) and Fingerweaving Untangled – it seems there is very little available on this art though.
In any case, we’ve really enjoyed learning fingerweaving and already have people requesting christmas presents. We’ll see about that though. We are pretty much done for the season (I leave to go back to school next Sunday). We will be back next season and will continue offering fingerweaving programs. We just wanted to say thanks for the putting together the book and to let you know that you have a new fan base way down here (in addition to a growing group of campers our Superintendent Tracey Snarr is also a fan). We look forward to the next one (if there’s going to be another one)!
Champlain Park staff and the sashes they made, Summer 2009.