Joan Edwards

Joan Edwards

Basket bids help Splatsin fundraiser

There’s a unique opportunity to collect birch bark baskets created by Splatsin elders.

There’s a unique opportunity to collect birch bark baskets created by Splatsin elders.

Members of the Kia7as (Grandmothers) group are taking bids until July 6 on baskets made from birch bark and cedar roots.

“The birch bark can only be collected while the sap is moving from late May and early June until the weather turns hot in July,” said Rosalind Williams, with the Splatsin language and cultural program.

“Each piece of bark is worked into shape and stitched together with the cedar roots and can take one to two days to complete a medium-sized basket.”

The grandmothers represent the handful of remaining fluent speakers of the eastern Splatsin dialect of the Secwepemctsin (Shuswap) language.

They have been passing their knowledge on to other members of the Splatsin First Nation, and particularly the youth.

The collection of 14 baskets will be sold to the highest bidder.

“Funds will be used to help the grandmothers attend a provincewide gathering of elders in July,” said Williams.

“At this gathering, exists an opportunity to network and exchange information about best practises in other communities.”

Bids can be e-mailed to zoralind@gmail.com by July 6.

To see what the baskets look like, go to www.flickr.com/photos/splatsin_tsm7aksaltn/sets/72157630287544748