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last updated July 17, 2022 by Sheila Schmutz, Saskatoon. firstname.lastname@example.org
Fur trapping has been a part of Canada's history from the begining. The Metis people were active in the fur trade across Canada. Today it is still a means of livelihood for many people in the far north. One example is the "Northern Saskatchewan Trappers Association Co-operative".
Clothing made of natural fur is also still a means of personal survival for Inuit peoples in the far north. The fur apparel they have worn is shown on this Inuit doll with a soapstone carved face. The doll is part of the First Nations art collection on display in the Agriculture Building of the University of Saskatchewan, donated by Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg. The doll was made of sealskin, fox fur and stone by Rose Kogayona of Kugluktuk (Coppermine).
Contemporary artists such as 2014 Polaris prize winner, Tanya Tagaq, continue to speak about the importance of fur, such as seal skin, to the survival of the Inuit people today. Read more about this in:
We encourage you to wear real fur and support this part of our heritage! This website is meant to help source fur garments and materials in Canada. In recent years, such items have become harder to find, and purchase in some areas.
Canada is cold much of the year, so wearing garments with natural fur serves a useful purpose, not just a fashionable purpose. However, fur trim can also add luxury and beauty to clothing, as well as warmth.
As part of the Saskatoon Fashion and Design Festival 2017, Sheila was interviewed by Janella Hamilton in a spot on CTV Morning Live. She is shown at the left with the two lovely models that appeared.
A few items are designed specifically for Renaissance Faire wear or other Medieval events..
2020-2021 and Covid-19
As you know, the Covid-19 pandemic swept around the world in spring 2020. People in Canada were asked to stay home in mid-March. By the end of May, Saskatchewan and several other provinces began to gradually re-open. However, Fall craft fairs were cancelled in 2020 and again in 2021.
In order to make fur trimmed items available, another secure shoppable website was set up:. Online ordering and mail delivery is now available for most items. Drop off in Saskatoon within a few days is also sometimes possible.
Fur trimmed capes and fur neckpieces are for sale in Rumour Handcraft Gallery at the Regina airport. Connie will mail items to customers who won't be passing through Regina. The store is open 9 AM to 6 PM.
The Saskatchewan Craft Council sponsored some works from members in Art Now this fall, including a couple of my items. They used the former Foster's Shoe store, across from their gallery for this. Then they extended that space as a Pop-Up store until Christmas. I benefited from both of these and appreciate their efforts.
In November, Dandelion Art Framing and Gallery accepted some of my fur-trimmed hats and other items. They are located on 2207 1st Ave North, about 1 block north of Circle Drive north.
Thanks to everyone who purchased a fur trimmed garment in 2021! Enjoy wearing it for years to come!
Craft Exhibits and Shows where Sheila hopes to have a Wear Our Heritage Booth in Fall/Winter 2022.
As the pandemic continues, plans for some juried craft shows are in the works but not all have yet been confirmed as of August 2, 2022. However, the two listed below are confirmed.
Craft Exhibits and Shows where Sheila had a Wear Our Heritage Booth in Fall/Winter 2019.
The "booth" at the right was at the Western Development Museum's Christmas Craft Fair in Saskatoon on October 18-19, 2019. It won 1st prize for display.
She is a "juried" member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council
She is a founding member of the Artisanal Fur Collective of Canada
She is an artisan member of the Fur Council of Canada.
Wear Our Heritage is a supporter of the International Fur Federation