Every Monday and Friday afternoon for the last two weeks, Aedan and I and some other moms and babies have been gathering in the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in community hall to learn how to make traditional hide vests and dresses.
We sit around the table together, laughing and chatting while we work; Delores, our teacher, is there to answer our questions and help us along. Other ladies, from the offices next door, wander in and out of the hall with cups of coffee or tea, sharing their own beading stories and techniques. There are a couple of women there just to watch the kids, so we have some uninterrupted time to work. Occasionally, someone puts down her sewing to nurse her little one, then picks up the work again.
I've come to really look forward to these afternoon sewing sessions. I love learning a new kind of handwork; in fact, I think I like beading more than knitting (just don't tell my nana that!) I also love just sitting around, visiting with other women. I love the sound of our voices, close in the big, bright room, and I love how our laughter fills it. I love how our little ones play together so well. Most of all I love the sense of community. This is how it should be!