Two weeks ago, Trellis Commons and the Strathmore Library teamed up to do some Indigenous programming and one of the ideas that was brought up was to do a Ribbon Skirt workshop.  

Family and Youth Support Worker Verona Woods explains since the Lead by Example Powwow is coming in a few weeks, she would love to see more people out there with their ribbon skirts supporting and being allies with Indigenous People. 

“For me, a ribbon skirt is a part of who we are as Indigenous people, we're very modest people as Blackfoot people. We cover ourselves up with our ribbon skirts, especially to ceremonies.” 

Woods explains that woman wear the fancy dresses, the shawls, jingle skirts and they wear red dresses for MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women). The ribbon skirt is another way to represent women.  

“As women we tend to find different ways to put ribbons on our clothing. It didn’t derive from the Blackfoot people; it was adopted by one tribe and then it filtered down to us and we made it our own.”  

Woods added certain colored ribbons that people choose for their skirts could sometimes means something to them or their families, but some people choose the colors just because it will go with the fabric of the skirt itself.  

“We make ours our own, something as plain as fabric looks amazing and we wear it around, with all the Indigenous fabric nowadays they all will look beautiful. 

Woods was very happy with the turnout of women that came and made their very own ribbon skirts. 

“There were two sets of mom and daughters that came down and made skirts. That was really nice to see. There were also people of all ages there as well, I think that the youngest person to come out was 12 years old. From the very first step they all made their own patterns, and all walked out with lovely ribbon skirts.”  

Woods ended by saying she is honored to be able to be in a place where she can share her gifts and her teaching with other people, and she really hopes that they continue to get turnouts like the one that they had.  

The next upcoming events for Indigenous programming are going to be the Kairos blanket exercise on March 10 and the Lead by Example Powwow that will be from March 18-19.  

Woman making ribbon skirts.

Verona Woods with her Ribbon Skirt

Woman at a showing machine

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