Theresa Marie Mt. Pleasant is one of the artists participating in Woodland Cultural Centre’s Virtual Face Mask Auction, Ga:hǫh ne’ hni’ ga:howe:kso/Covered and Uncovered. The auction is in response to the new realities created by the global coronavirus pandemic impacting so many Indigenous communities across the country, with 50% of proceeds shared with artists and 50% to support Woodland Cultural Centre programs, specifically School Visits & Educational Programming and Exhibitions.
Theresa Marie Mt. Pleasant was born and resides on Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve. A member of Tuscarora nation, bear clan. She acquired her skills from her maternal grandmother Minnie Jamieson, who taught her a variety of cultural arts and crafts, using several medias such as deerskin, moose hide, leather, quills, beads and cloth materials.
She began sewing doll clothes by hand at a very young age and later progressed to sewing by machine. Her first completed garment was modelled on stage when she was 14 years old. She designed her first deerskin outfit with long flowing fringes at 19 years of age. A few years later she designed a native patterned coat, accented with deerskin which was featured in a fashion magazine.
Creations by Theresa originated for which she designs, creates and makes regalia for competitive pow wow, fancy, jingle and smoke dancing and ceremonies. Theresa specializes in traditional native and contemporary designs in crafts, floral arrangements, moccasins, clothing, accessories, beadwork, quilts, pillows, drapery and home decor. Her fancy dance regalia was featured on the cover of Discover Six Nations in 2013. In the same year Roam magazine, a guide to family fun in Ontario featured the same dance regalia.She graduated with honours from both Interior Decorating and Fashion Design and Merchandising.
Now an elder herself, she shares her knowledge and experience. Through intergenerational workshops and on an individual basis she guides, motivates and encourages individuals the same way her grandmother did. Proudly helping preserve her indigenous roots, values, traditions and culture.
Mask: “Safe not Silenced”
Colour blue was chosen as the foundation
It symbolizes tranquility, peacefulness and the strength to endure
Eyes peer over the covering, windows to our soul
Showing sincerity and truth, saying more than one could with words
These protective coverings are similar to chrysalis
We will emerge like butterflies
We will soar like Eagles and show strength
Like flowers, the music of the ground
we shall blossom bringing forth a rainbow of colours
Heart shape of strawberries shows love and is
symbolic of life, health and well-being
Bear Clan are healers, people of the medicines
Engulfed with a sacred sweetgrass braid
symbolizing healing, peace and spirituality
Reminding us, we as Indigenous people find strength in unity
We stand together not alone
Our mouths are covered, but unlike residential school times,
when we were silenced
Our voices are heard through these masks
Protecting our future generations
By Theresa Mt.Pleasant
Safe not Silenced
Valued at: $500.00 CAD
Materials: Velvet, Beads, Ribbon
Final Bid: $300.00 CAD