Parka Project by Bobbie Itta

Grantee: Bunnell Street Arts Center, Story by Bobby Itta

For the past 5 years, my mentee and I talked about doing a parka project. My mentee Bonnie was from Nome, and she never learned to make a parka from her family. Bonnie is a reindeer herder and needed the proper clothing to keep her and her family warm. One day I received an email about a mentorship project, and we were ready to submit our information right away. We wrote out our plan, and submitted it! Once we were approved, we were so excited. I would teach Bonnie that traditional knowledge that I know, so she could clothe her and her family. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity, it helped me cover living expenses so that I could focus on teaching. My friend also learned valuable indigenous knowledge to keep her family warm and to pass on traditions in her family!

Bonnie in her finished parka.