Ribbon Skirt Making at St. Joseph Catholic School

Ribbon Skirt Making at St. Joseph Catholic School

For the last seven weeks, Raquel Kashkeesh from the Thunderbird Friendship Centre in Geraldton, and the girls at St. Joseph Catholic School have worked together to make their own ribbon skirts. Raquel asked Helen, an elder in our community and great-grandmother to three of our students, to help us with this project.

Measuring the ribbon skirt Material
Our Elder Helen Achneepineskum helping us measure our material
Native Language Teacher Audrey Fisher helping with the sewing.
Our NLC teacher Audrey Fisher helping with the sewing.

Raquel sat with each class and taught them the importance of the ribbon skirts and why the girls wear them. They can wear them when picking berries or medicines, at ceremony and pow wows, and even when they are looking for strength or have a worry. The bottom of their skirts will touch the grass as they walk on Mother Earth and she will hear their thoughts and worries. She hears our prayers and knows who we are. The colours of our skirts tell a story. We show respect when we wear our skirts and don’t run around or say bad words. Our skirts are special.

Once all the ribbons skirts were done, we had a special ceremony to bless them and feast with them. Raquel placed tobacco on each skirt. She smudged our skirts and said a prayer over them. We had bread and berries and thanked the Creator for the opportunity to be together and make our skirts.

Blessing the ribbon skirts.

On June 15th, we had a Social at school and the drummers sang a song for our skirts while we all held hands and danced around them. It was a special time as we were surrounded by all of our families and ladies from the Catholic Women's League and guests from the Thunderbird Friendship Center.

Group photo of all the St. Joseph students wearing their ribbon skirts.
"Together We Educate Heart, Mind and Soul."