Laura Wong-Whitebear is dedicated to utilizing and preserving traditional basket-weaving knowledge and has chosen an apprentice with the same commitment.
Miller follows what was passed to him by his tribal elders. He teaches the Tuwaduq (Skokomish) words that correspond with the artwork that his students create as well as the traditional practices that go along with crafting the art. He wants those he teaches to also pass on this traditional knowledge and in doing so, this generation may become the advisors and leaders of the Skokomish and Chehalis people in the future.
The Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC) has been a center of community cultural activity in the region since 1907. In that time, the college has contributed significantly to the continuity of contemporary craft as an artistic expression and offers degreed undergraduate and post-graduate programs.
This apprenticeship program invited traditional and contemporary Native artists to collaborate in a master and apprentice training format. NEFA awarded four grants of $5,000 and one grant of $3,000 pairing an experienced master artist with an apprentice for up to one year, establishing a one-on-one learning experience that helps to ensure the continued vitality of Native artists in New England.