ɬaxayam!!! Greetings!!! (in Chinook) I am Traditional Basket Weaver Stephanie Craig (Wood). I am an enrolled member of The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon. I’m Santiam and Yoncalla Kalapuya, Umpqua, Takelma Rogue River, Clackamas Chinook, and Iroquois. I grew up listening to my mother, my Chich (Grandmother in Chinuk Wawa), and aunties telling stories of our family’s weaving and our weaving traditions. Family baskets and weaving traditions have been passed down through six generations and are still continued today through our teachings and basket making. I feel that it is very important to preserve our history; and as a young Native American tribal member, it is part of my job to help educate and document cultural heritage and traditions. I am committed to preserving our cultural practices for future generations and to continue on the traditions of our Elders.
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in cultural anthropology with an emphasis on Northwest Native American cultures and fulfilled my college language requirement with my Native American language, Chinuk Wawa. I also hold an interdisciplinary Masters of Arts degree comprised of coursework in cultural anthropology, museum studies, and folklore studies. I have been chosen for internships at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American Indian Archives Department, the University of Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Tamástslikt Cultural Institute for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, as well as with traditional basket weavers.
I’m very passionate about giving back to our community and want to sustain and help pass on our traditional culture and educate people on the history of civilization. As part of the next generation of Tradition Bearers, I want to support others who need it. As a young Indian woman, I feel it is important to share our stories and to pass on our culture to future generations, since we are the future.