Project Description

Sandra Simon

Sandra Simon

Sandra was born in 1955. Until her death in 2014 she resided usually in Canada, Nova Scotia in the Mi´kmaq community of Paq´tnkek. For most of her life she worked as a care person for older and sick people. She also worked as a blueberry picker and in many other fields which required hard labour. One of her three children is the Friends United artist Darren Julian. As Sandra in the 80´s became more aware of her heritage and wanted to carry on her First Nation roots and traditions, she acquired from a very old Mi´kmaq teacher the skill of quill basket making. (Baskets made from porcupine quills, birch bark and sweet grass.)  She learned this traditional skill to perfection, but stopped making quill baskets, as it took her at least one week to produce a basket and people would pay her only $50. It was obviously impossible to earn a living in this way. Shortly after Friends United artist Darren Julian introduced her to Rolf Bouman. Rolf was fascinated by her artwork and inquired as to what it would take to revive her skills. Sandra then worked mostly full time over the next few years on producing quill baskets which are all exhibited at the Friends United International Convention Centre. As the quill basket making tradition was not known anymore to many people, Rolf purchased a car for Sandra which allowed her to drive from First Nations community to First Nations community and convey her skills to the younger generation. In the subsequent years most sadly Sandra passed away, but she left the legacy of making quill baskets with many children and teenagers as she had been able to teach through the Friends United initiative how to produce her baskets. Today many of these young people carry on her tradition.

Sandra Simon
Sandra Simon
Sandra Simon
Sandra Simon
Sandra Simon
Sandra Simon
Sandra Simon
Sandra Simon
Sandra Simon
Sandra Simon
Sandra Simon
Sandra Simon

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