Eva Boyd with Buck Morigeau
At one time Eva Boyd was perhaps the only member of the Montana Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes who knew how to make a basket from the split root of the cedar tree. Not any more. Lately she has been very busy teaching young people and reviving this almost lost art. She learned how to make the split cedar root baskets from her grandmother in Camas Prairie when she was a little girl. Her grandmother also made the string twine baskets, now called sally bags. These items were once essential equipment for the daily life of Northwest Coast Indian people.
Eva started making baskets again as an adult when a relative from the coast encouraged her and showed her how to gather the materials. Realizing how important it was to keep this art from being forgotten, she decided to hold a basket camp. Only two students showed up- Buck Morigeau and Crystal Cousins. She now teaches basket making at Salish Kootenai Community College and is asked to teach and present at a variety of venues on and off the reservation. She went on a cultural exchange program to Australia and was taken around the sacred Ayers Rock by the Aboriginal people, an experience she will never forget. She says, “Wherever they ask you to go, never hesitate....that was my dream, to bring basket making back to the reservation.” Eva has been a featured weaver at gatherings of the recently formed Northwest Native American Basketweavers Association.