Maria Rose Sikyea
Whitehorse, Yukon Territory
Maria Rose Sikyea is a 31 year old Dene Artisan, mother of two, living in the Yukon within the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council and the Kwanlin Dün First Nation traditional territory. She believes most of humanity has forgotten that everything comes from Mother Earth, thus her desire is to inspire people to reconnect with their tribal ways through connection to the land. She hopes humanity will be more respectful to the Earth in the coming times.
Maria works with materials harvested within nature’s cradling arms. She began her search to return to her ancestral culture at age 15. She tanned her first hides over 10 years ago, inspiring her to continue reconnecting with her Athabaskan culture. Maria has studied art at New World School of Arts (During few years of high school) and NBCCD in New Brunswick, for indigenous studies. She found the best school for her was the bush life itself and searched for learning opportunities to experience 'life in the bush'. Through that search Maria learned various traditional art skills.
Maria started her business “Caribou Woman Creations” in fall 2019, where she creates beautiful pieces of athabaskan jewelry that is mainly focused on caribou hair tufting, porcupine quillwork through her “Quill Walker” project, cultural revitalizing, and runs skill-building workshops throughout North America.
She is on a prayerful journey to reclaim her family’s lineage and thus decolonize through traditional ways of living. She hopes to inspire youth to reach their dreams and to connect with their heritage. Her long term goal is to create a full set of traditional clothing and tools, circa 1930s, to then embark on a journey amongst her tłı̨chǫ and shúhtagot’ı̨nę dené ancestral lands, with her two children, her husband and their expecting baby, with beautifully created pieces of cultural significance that respire a connection to the land of their peoples. She hopes to make her lineage proud, inspire youth and carry on some of the legacy of her bush skill and talented artisan family relations.
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