Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

Whitehorse, Yukon

Maria Rose Sikyea

2019/2020 Shakaat Artist-in-Residence
 Maria Rose Sikyea is a young Dené artist living in the Yukon. She believes most of humanity has forgotten that everything comes from Mother Earth, thus her desire is to inspire people to reconnect with their ancestral ways through connection to the land. She has been tanning hides for over 10 years and works with materials harvested within nature’s cradling arms. She is on a prayerful journey to reclaim her ancestral lineage and thus decolonize through traditional ways of living. She hopes to inspire youth to return to their ancestral ways. 

She has begun working on recreating an entire set of clothing and tools for her little family circa 1920s, to then go on a yearlong walkabout through the Mackenzie Mountains, which is some of the trails of her ancestors through her grandfather’s relations. She works with Copper in honour of her grandmothers’ lineage arriving in YK region with “The principle Dogrib leaders” as her great grandfather, Beniah, travelled alongside Jospeh Naedzo, a major figure for the Dogrib and Bear Lake Dene, for the copper / fur trade as a leader and “incredible bushmen”. 

Maria Rose is a certified Indigenous Doula. She is a mother, weaver, writer, water protector, moose hide tanner, hide tanner, tufter, artist, porcupine quiller, assitant video editor / videographer through Shakat Media, herbalist, employer of Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle, and traditional skills / bush life enthusiast. Her hope is to someday feel the hope of the future within the younger generations and hopes to advocate for healthy living ways.