Corinne Stevens-Belanger – Aboriginal Owned and Operated.

Basket & Birch Bark Gift Baskets

FACTS ABOUT THE BASKETS

Grandma Hazel Stevens

My grandparents Joe and Hazel Stevens settled along the Red Deer River, which is approximately 1 hour north of Swan River Manitoba in the late 1960’s. They chose this area of land, because it was located near our reserve, and it was also my grandfather’s trap-line.  My Grandparents worked and lived off the land since the 1920’s. They remained in this area until they passed away.  It was my grandmother, Hazel Stevens, who started making Birch Bark Baskets, she taught my mother, aunts, uncles and cousins.  My grandparents used to sell their baskets to campers, fishermen and tourists who traveled through this region since the 1960’s.  My grandmother eventually taught me and therefore basket making has been in my family for at least three generations.  Both my grandparents were Swampy Cree people.  Traditionally, Cree people in this area were known for using birch bark to make much needed tools.  Because of my grandmother this rich tradition has been passed down to my family and I.

 

Corinne Stevens-Belanger with 2 Birch Bark Baskets.

Corinne Stevens-Belanger with 2 Birch Bark Baskets.

 

PEELING THE BARK HERE:

John Belanger with our daughter Sarah peeling the bark

Each basket is sewn together with Crochet Thread in various colors, (usually Red, Burgundy, Yellow, Green).  They range in size from Extra-Large, Large, Medium and Small.  Each Basket is also lined with Colored Cloth, which compliments the Thread color.  One basket can take up to 3-4 hours to create.  The star pattern on top of the basket was what inspired me to call them “star baskets” and have been incorporated into our business name and logo.  It is not clear why my grandmother started to put these patterns on the baskets, but regardless they are a beautiful aspect of the basket itself.

 

THE PURPOSE AND USE

 

First Nations’ people buy them as gifts for Elders, honored guests and/or valued members of the community.  They can be given to anyone for any purpose.   Each basket can be filled with significant items,  or they can be given as is.  We also include in each basket a little bag of cedar for the fragrance and benefit of the buyer.

Small Basket – $50.00 each

Small Baskets are approximately 5 inches in diameter, and 2-3.5 inches deep.

 Medium Basket – $65.00 each

Approximately 5.5-6.5 inches diameter, 3.5-6 inches deep.

Large Basket – $ 75.00 each

Approximately 6.5-7 inches diameter, 3.5-9 inches deep.

 

Extra Large Basket – $90.00

 

Extra-Large Basket with Red Thread

Approximately 7.5-10 inches diameter, 5-10 inches deep.

 

Specialty Extra Large – $ 120.00

Approximately 11-12 inches in diameter and 4-5 inches deep

GIFT BASKETS – $85.00 each (LARGE), $65.00 each (SMALL)

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Picture of 2 Large Gift Baskets and one Gift Basket and a Star Bag

Picture of 2 Large Gift Baskets and one Gift Basket and a Star Bag

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Photo Submitted By; Jen Filson

 

Here is a picture of Jen Filson with her daughters and her mother holding Birch Bark Baskets she purchased from my grandmother…Hazel Stevens when she was 6 while camping in Swan River on our way to visit family in Flin Flon, in the late 80s or early 90s. Now that her daughter is 6 – they still have the baskets and she contacted us to see if her daughter could bring the baskets to her class to show and tell last fall. This family was nice enough to ask my permission to show her daughter’s class the baskets, get more info. about them from us to present accurate information during her daughter’s study about First Nations creation stories that she really enjoyed. AMAZING!!! Thanks Jen!

Jen Filson (left) beside her daughters and her mother on the right

Baskets are still in amazing condition after all these years!!! My grandma was amazing!  Her legacy lives on!

 

TRADITIONAL BIRCH BARK BASKETS MADE WITH SPRUCE ROOTS

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WE CAN SHIP EVERYWHERE IN CANADA/USA/International

We can receive payment  by  WE FINANCIAL VISA, E-TRANSFER, MONEY ORDER or CHEQUE

 

Contact Information

Box 173

Swan River, Mb. Canada R0L 1Z0

1-204-734-2116

Email Address: creestargifts@hotmail.com