Black Ash Basket-Making Demonstration: The Emerald Ash Borer

Black Ash Basket-Making Demonstration: The Emerald Ash Borer and Its Effects on Basketmakers (BEG)
Renee "Wasson" Dillard, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

Creating black ash baskets is a complex process that involves the spirit as much as the hands and eyes. It all begins with the materials. The appearance of the emerald ash borer into the Great Lakes region has threatened the process of traditional Anishinaabek black ash basket making, which is about 75% process and 25% weaving. In this workshop Renee will share her knowledge of basket making while weaving a basket, and will discuss the influences of the emerald ash borer on the processing of basket making materials. She will discuss how the insect is changing the future of basket making and how Tribes are addressing these changes.

Renee "Wasson" Dillard, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Renee Dillard is a citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and an accomplished master finger weaver, black ash basket maker, culture bearer and educator. In addition to making black ash baskets, Renee weaves cedar bark and cattail and bulrush mats, makes birch bark boxes, and finger weaves sashes, a tradition she learned as a young girl from her mother. She is recognized for her dedicated, effective teaching and for passing on her skills to others within tribal communities and in museum programs, offering workshops to youth, adults and elders through powwows and artist-inresidencies. Renee is a 2010 recipient of the Michigan Heritage Award and a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Natural Resources Commission.