Two high school students recently had the opportunity to learn more about their culture, and in turn, learned more about themselves.

The students made ribbon skirts for the first time as well as beaded lanyard keychains.

Jenn George, Ranch Ehrlo educational assistant who helped the students learn these crafts said, “When creating (a) skirt, it challenges individuals to use their creative side.”

Jenn explained that making a ribbon skirt takes patience. If it becomes too challenging, then it’s important to take a break and return to it when calm. It’s important to think good thoughts about the person they’re making it for including themselves.

*Lisa, one of the youth, learned that she needs patience to create beautiful things.

She found it challenging, but when she finished, she felt proud, and her mom was also proud of her.

“I chose a floral print because it reminded me of my late Mama. She loved flowers. When I saw the material, it felt calm and comforting.”

Her late Dada loved the Toronto Maple Leafs, so she chose blue and white ribbons.

*Kate, the second student, found the process much easier.

“It was (my) first time making a skirt. I made two skirts because I enjoyed it,” Kate explained.

“She was a natural,” Jenn added.

The girls also made beaded lanyards.

Kate said, “I made earrings before, but this was my first time making a lanyard keychain.”

Lisa had never beaded before. Jenn told her it was a relaxing activity, and Lisa found that to be true.

She said, “I felt very calm and thought a lot about how it would look when it was done.”

You can always see how proud the youth are of their ribbon skirts,” Jenn added.

Ribbon skirts symbolize resilience, sacredness, and survival. Wearing ribbon skirts reminds wearers to always respect themselves and others.

*Names changed for privacy