Indigenous weaver Mohieqxweth, also known as Eileen Jacobs, is passionate about giving children a voice and encouraging them to stay true to themselves. The founder of Salish Angel Weaving and Apparel learned to weave in 2009 as an adult. In 2010 she was asked to weave headbands for Olympic athletes and sponsors when the Olympic Games came to BC.
“The craft of weaving is so meaningful to me; it’s a lost art bringing back so much of our culture,” shares Mohieqxweth/ Jacobs. “My mother taught me beading and sewing but leaving home so young, she didn’t get time to learn cultural traditions. I’m still learning a lot as my parents weren’t allowed to talk about culture. Having traditional teachings come back has filled that void inside me.”
In January 2023, Sea to Sky Community Services were honoured to unveil a traditional weaving by Mohieqxweth installed in the lobby of the Centrepoint Building in Squamish. The weaving is titled Every Child Matters. It represents the children lost to Residential School genocide across Canada.
The Every Child Matters piece took over a month and approximately 50 hours to create. As a mother of four and a grandmother of eight, Mohieqxweth understands the value of giving children permission to use their voice. She designed the Every Child Matters piece as she weaved, using colours to encourage education, understanding and respect for all children.
“This piece was created to represent our lost children,” explains Mohieqxweth. “The colours I chose are orange; which represents Orange Shirt Day, as well as the Medicine Wheel Colours: white, red, black and yellow for the people in the four directions. They are now in a healing place which is why I added the green for healing, and blue for continued healing. The colour orange also represents my Nation, known as Cedar People.”
To read the entire story, go to the Sea to Sky Community Services website.