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Starlit Simon

Language: English

My home community is Elsipogtog First Nation and was lucky to grow up there until the age of ten. We then moved off the reserve and just a few minutes’ walk from Indian Island First Nation where I spend much of my teenage years. At 18, I moved to Fredericton and have spent majority of my adult life here. I now work for the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre as an Indigenous Advisor to First Nation, Inuit and Metis students at UNB and teach Introductory and Intermediate Mi’kmaw Language. I was first taught how to do quill work around 2007 by Tara Francis. The art form intrigued me greatly but I think the harvesting of quills intrigued me even more. To have the option to let a once living creature as amazing as the porcupine live on after it has died is absolutely what drew me to this form of Mi’kmaq art. I have been able to quill many pieces and have sold, raffled and gifted them all off. It has been something that has brought me great joy. From harvesting the pine, cleaning and disinfecting the quills, separating the quills from fur and hair, sorting the length and width of quills, dying quills, picking and harvesting birch bark as well as the art of quilling itself, always brings such a sense of calm.

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