EDITOR’S NOTE: “Three Makah Weavers,” originally planned for Thursday was canceled due to illness. Instead, Studium Generale will be a free showing of “Usual and Accustomed Places,” a film about Pacific Northwest tribes’ century-long struggle to uphold their fishing rights. The filmmaker is Sandra Osawa, a Makah tribal member, and it focuses on the history of the Makah tribe in their relationship with treaty rights, hunting, and fishing.
PORT ANGELES — Master weaver Melissa Peterson, her daughter Samantha Della-Devoney, and her granddaughter Kylee Jo Butler will present “Three Generations of Makah Weavers” at Thursday’s Studium Generale.
Peninsula College will present the free lecture in the Little Theater on the Port Angeles campus at 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., at 12:35 p.m.
Peterson lives in Neah Bay on the Makah Reservation. She learned weaving from Irene Ward more than 30 years ago and also studied with Nora Barker, Lina McGee, Susan Johnson, Linda Colfax and Margaret Irving.
She also studied the old Ozette weaving styles found in the Makah Cultural and Research Center’s collection.
She teaches basketry throughout the region.
Della-Devoney studied weaving and other traditions with help from her mother, Melissa Peterson, as well as “my great-great auntie Helen Peterson, who was like a grandmother to me, and many other Makah people.”
In June, Della-Devoney will graduate from The Evergreen State College’s Native Pathways Program.
In April 2018, she presented “Upholding Indigenous Traditions” in Juneau at the Alaska Native Studies Conference. There she explained that “Indigenous traditions are vital to maintaining our truth, our ontology, our cultural identity.”
“We know this to be true, because our epistemology is the result of witnessing the consequences of many traditions being disrupted from the lives of Indigenous Peoples around the world,” she said.
“The action we take to support this reality, which is our methodology, is that we preserve traditions. We create a relationship with them. We learn them. We implement them. We teach them.”
Butler is the daughter of master carver Micah Vogel and a recent graduate of Peninsula College.
Currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from WWU/ Huxley on the Peninsula, she learned to weave from her grandmother Melissa and other Makah artists including her Auntie Sam (Della-Devoney).
For more information, contact Kate Reavey at [email protected]