My Elders taught me respect for traditional Native Ways, and that it is my responsibility to share this knowledge.  We believe that when “looking” for moose, caribou and other game that our spirit has to be right with Creator.  In this manner the moose or caribou “gives itself” to us.  All of the animal is used for food, clothing, utensils, tools, and for use in adornment to honor the gift of it’s life to sustain our life.

Today we still use bone knives and scrapers to process hides for tanning, just as our ancestors did.

I use moose and caribou legs to create tools and various art forms.  The following is the procedure used:

I cut and remove the hide from the lower leg.  This hide is then tanned to make knife sheaths, bags, and mukluks.  The sinew (tendon) is then cut and peeled from the bone and dried for sewing and lashing.  The hooves and dew claws are also used to make utensils and artwork.  The leg bone is then boiled in a large pot of water for a full day, removed and then boiled again.  After the second processing , the bone and hooves are rinsed, hooves removed, and then the bones are placed in a tub of concentrated hydrogen peroxide.  The “whiteness” of the bone desired for my work, will determine the length of time in this solution.  Finally, the bone is rinsed off in hot water and placed on a rack and then put out in the sun to dry.        

The bone is now ready to be made into “what it is meant to be.”