I have worn this maple bark skirt at other activities, such as a Winnemem Wintu ceremony I attended with my adopted grandmother. I also had the opportunity of wearing a maple bark skirt at the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian. I still wear this maple bark skirt and, as long as I take care of it, I plan to continue to wear it.
The first significant instance, in my mind, when I wore a maple bark skirt was when I was Miss Na:tini-xwe’, AKA, Miss Hoopa Valley. As Miss Na:tini-xwe’ I represented my tribe at various local, regional and national events. I traveled to New Mexico to compete for Miss Indian World at the Gathering of Nations, the largest powwow in North America. I never wanted to be a powwow princess but it did provide me the opportunity to share my culture and traditions and learn about other Tribes.
This picture is of me when I wore the maple bark skirt at a grand entry at Gathering of Nations. I was one of the only dancers that had an outfit made out of natural materials from my traditional territory. At Miss Indian World there were events where I was required to sit, travel and do things that were difficult in our ceremonial dresses so I selected to wear a maple bark skirt because it was more practical but still a form of traditional clothing from my area.