Mary Michell

Mary Michell

Lake Babine Nation
Burns Lake, British Columbia

Aboriginal artist Mary Michell has been named by Premier Gordon Campbell and Keith Mitchell, chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, as the recipient of the 2008 BC Creative Lifetime Achievement Award for Aboriginal Art. The award recognizes BC First Nations artists whose dedication to their work has had a profound impact on both their community and First Nations culture. “Mary Michell is an inspiration to her community, First Nations and all British Columbians,” said Premier Campbell, a director of the Foundation. “She has demonstrated a lifelong pursuit of artistic excellence and she is very deserving of this prestigious award.” “Mary has been producing beautiful crafts and clothing her entire life, and the BC Achievement Foundation is thrilled to present the second annual Lifetime Achievement Award to such a deserving artist,” said Keith Mitchell. Mary Michell is an 82-year-old Carrier artist from Burns Lake. Her work includes using moosehides and beads to create beautiful crafts and clothing. She began to learn how to prepare and tan moosehides at the age of 13 and has continued to make crafts her entire life. She creates all her work by hand, and each item can take up to three weeks to complete. Through the traditional clan system, Michell has created wedding dresses, vests, jackets, purses, mukluks, moccasins and gloves. In May 2008, Mary presented the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, the Honourable Steven Point (Xwe li qwel tel), with a jacket she made. Other dignitaries who wear jackets made by Michell include: Department of Indian Affairs Minister David Crombie; First Nations politician Elijah Harper; Grand Chief Ed John; Tribal Chief Justa Monk, Tribal Chief Joseph Michell; and Nisga’a politician Harry Nyce

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