Educational Programs

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Basketry Workshops

Large annual inter-tribal community basketry workshops taught on each of the tribal reservations. Participants learn everything involved in the basketry process, including how to process the ash log and prepare the splints for weaving; to braiding the sweet grass; to weaving the different tribal style baskets; depending upon the particular tribal tradition (i.e. large potato harvesting baskets at Maliseet and Micmac Tribes or baskets with more sweetgrass at coastal Passamaquoddy Tribe or Penobscot Nation).

Traditional Arts Apprenticeships

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One-on-one teaching by a Master Basketmaker to mentor an apprentice in their own tribal community. This program has helped bring forward a new generation of basket makers in all four tribes. You can fund a Master by donating to the MIBA!

Tribal Language Preservation

triballanguagepresspeakerIn collaboration with Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Tribes, the use of tribal languages where possible is encouraged in both the apprenticeships and workshop programs; thereby helping to save the highly endangered Indigenous languages of Maine.

In 2013, MIBA basket makers and staff participated in One World, Many Voices, Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Washington, D.C.
In Maine, MIBA coordinates with tribal language programs to encourage use of the highly endangered tribal languages in its basketry workshops and traditional arts apprenticeships teaching programs.
Several MIBA basket makers are fluent speakers of their Indigenous language, i.e. Passamaquoddy.

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