Some of her art that I have photos of and information about are listed here.


It was simple for my sister to create a doll in no time and without any qualms and they would turn out every time. We made dolls for Christmas one year for our daughters and granddaughters.

No small chore. She had 5 granddaughters and I had 8. They didn’t all get a doll but those that did got dolls made by an artist. I helped. The art came from her.

The faceless doll is a reminder to never think too much of yourself as the corn husk doll once did of the Iroquois. Conceit turned her into a faceless doll.

My sister went to an American Indian Art School in Santa Fe, New Mexico for four years. Two-year high school program and two-year college. She was in school with students from all tribes and they shared stories they heard while growing up.

Carrie later attended for two more years to get her bachelor’s degree in education and then later her master’s degree in Native American studies with a focus on museum curation.

Small drum Carrie gave me. Authors photo.

My sister told me that the cross symbol was a symbol of the four directions, explaining the world before the settlers came to this country. Because the Christian cross was familiar that made it easier for the ministers to build relationships with the people in this country.

Yes, you’re correct. The symbol of the cross was indeed present in Native American cultures before the arrival of European colonizers. The cross, with its four bars representing the cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west, was used by Native American tribes to symbolize the origin of the world1. This symbol signifies life or the sustenance of life, serving as a reminder of the importance of maintaining the balance of nature and its four elements1. It’s important to note that the interpretation and use of the cross symbol could vary among different tribes and cultures. Bing, Copilot with GPT-4

When my sister needed a few extra dollars, she would sit down and make small items for sale. She gave me this small drum for helping her make them as we sat and visited.

My sister Carries son as a corn dancer. On papercast. Authors photo.

Knowing artists was always nice when I would hold a fundraiser. I would invite artists to show their work and then they would donate a piece for the auction. My sister made the above. I believe she used wood carvings and then transferred them to homemade paper. Quite the production.

I didn’t watch her do this but I saw a few others that a friend of hers had.

Her children’s great-grandmother, a San Juan Pueblo woman. Authors photo.
We are bear clan and Carrie used to paint He/She people. Authors photo.
Carrie’s woodland pottery. My dusty flower’s in her handmade and fired pottery

Carrie brought back woodland pottery to our reservations in Minnesota. Now there are people on several of the reservations that continue the tradition of woodland pottery. Her daughter also makes pottery in New Mexico with clay from there.

I have other pottery she made, but this one is the largest and the one I have had the longest.

The dress that I recently gave to my daughter. Authors photo.

One year Carrie gave me a jingle dress that she had made. She said it was a traditional dress, a healing dress. I was familiar with the jingle dress from stories told by Red Lake and Mille Lacs tribal members. And from attending powwows and dancing since a young child.

My sister and I danced at many powwows with the idea that because we were wearing the jingle dress we were dancing for our people. She instructed that we put cedar in our mocassins for protection for our mocassins and ourselves.

The story behind its inception is quite fascinating. An indigenous medicine man’s granddaughter fell ill, and he was instructed by spirit guides in a dream to craft a Jingle Dress. They prophesied that the dress would heal the child when she danced in it1. This dance was a symbol of resilience in the face of adversity, particularly during the 1918 flu pandemic and the subsequent federal ban on ritual dancing at Indian reservations in the 1920s1. Bing, Copilot with GPT-4

After I survived cancer, I attended the Powwow for Hope that occurred each year to fundraise for cancer. At that powwow, I would dance with the pink shawl women, as I was given a pink shawl there.

I have also sat in a circle as jingle-dress dancers danced around me and other survivors to assist with our healing.

Team Carrie, Powwow for Hope is the name of the fundraising group that I work with each year. All the money goes to the American Indian Cancer Foundation.

What I didn’t talk about is her paintings, her sculptures, her theatre, being a playwright, a videographer, an art teacher, a museum curator, and so much more.

Even though my sister was three years younger and died at 53, she had a much fuller life, and her experience was as a warrior and helper of our people until the end. Her helpful stories will continue to be told by many.

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