The Ursuline Nuns in Lower Canada introduced silk embroidery to Huron and Haudenosaunee woman in the seventeenth century, and the Grey Nuns brought the craft west to the Red River settlements in the mid-nineteenth century. Métis women in the western Subarctic, who travelled extensively with the fur trade, could have learned this craft from either source, or from the many Indigenous women who were creating beautifully embroidered garments for use and for sale. The tree of life design, honoring spirits and medicines, represents a striking synthesis of Métis-Cree cosmology and European needlework.
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