Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation
Pat Bruderer (Halfmoon Woman) is originally from Churchill, Manitoba and spent most of her life in northern Manitoba. She now resides in the Kootenay area British Columbia. Pat is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation in Saskatchewan and she is a self-taught birch bark biting artist who has been practicing for over twenty years. Birch bark biting is done by biting onto a very thin layer of birch bark to create a beautiful image using the artists’ teeth. It was practiced by most First Nations people across Turtle Island (Canada). Traditionally, it was used for recording stories, and as a template for quill work, beadwork, and embroidery patterns. They were also created for competitions to see who could create the nicest designs. Pat goes through thirteen stages in order to complete a finished piece. She uses the elements of earth, water, wind, and fire in every piece of her work.
Her passion for sharing and teaching has brought her into the classroom in to share and pass the tradition to hundreds of students in places like Yellowknife, Winnipeg, Thompson, and Vernon to name a few. As birch bark biting helps to develop the spatial reasoning in our brains, among many other traditional teachings, it’s an important lesson for children as part of a math, history, or cultural exercise. Pat’s work can be found in museums and in many private collections and she has exhibited her work across Canada and the world, including USA, Switzerland, France, and Italy.