Ribbon Skirts and Spirit Journeys

Semi-finalist 2023

Submitted by:Cindy Chartrand

The author has created a ribbon skirt that showcases the rich cultural and spiritual significance it holds in Indigenous communities. The garment’s mîkiwâhp (teepee) shape and the number of ribbons and colors represent traditional teachings, symbolizing the spiritual connection between individuals and nature. As a powerful symbol of identity, spirituality, and community, the ribbon skirt connects individuals to their past and present, while guiding them towards a better future. It also serves as a reminder to find balance in life and honor one’s gifts. The garment and traditional teachings are used to pass down cultural knowledge and values through generations. My research focuses on the significance of cultural identity and community connection in promoting overall health and well-being. The ribbon skirt exemplifies these concepts, highlighting the importance of staying rooted in one’s community and culture during difficult times. Through my work, I aim to explore how traditional Indigenous teachings and practices can be integrated to promote resilience, healing, and cultural reclamation.