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Mendhi hands by Pushpa Jain. Photographer unknown. All rights reserved.Fish decoy. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Embroidered dress detail. Photo by Pearl Yee Wong. All rights reserved.Cedar bird by Glen VanAntwerp. Photo by Al Kamuda. All rights reserved.
Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Awards

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Thomas Paquin Tracy HeathThomas Paquin (l) and Tracy Heath (r).

Dying quills
Dying quills during Paquin's and Heath's apprenticeship.

Hummingbird quill box top
Tracy Heath's hummingbird quill box.
All photos by LuAnne Kozma

Thomas Paquin and Tracy Heath
2010 master artist and apprentice
Cross Village and Cheboygan (Emmet and Cheboygan Counties)
quill boxes

Since 1990 Tom Paquin has made traditional Native American crafts full time. A member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Tom grew up spending most of his time outdoors, fishing and hunting, and he eventually became a commercial fisherman in Michigan and a millwright in Washington, D.C. He moved to Cross Village, Michigan, where he learned to make quill boxes from a local quill worker with his wife Sally. He became more skilled and began demonstrating quillwork at workshops in St. Ignace, when he met Tracy Heath, also a Sault Ste. Marie tribal member who lives in Cheboygan, Michigan. The Heaths’ and Paquins’ friendship grew as Tracy sought to learn more from Tom. In the apprenticeship program, Tracy is learning all facets of quillwork from obtaining the “porkies” and processing and dying the quills, to finding and gathering the birchbark, to the making of his own awls and other tools. Heath plans to pass the tradition on to his son and grandchildren. He is known in the Cheboygan community for sharing his Native American cultural heritage with youth.

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