TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT THE WHALE IN YOUR ARTWORK. I've used actual whale parts. My mother was a scrimshander, so I grew up with some of the work that she was doing. Some of the pieces she was cutting were from our family. They had been brought back by my great-uncle or my great-grandfather, so we ended up with all these whale teeth, whale bone. And I use a little bit of that.

When I hold a piece of baleen, when I hold a whale tooth, I think of all those places that being had been — and its connection to my ancestors and various Native people, from all different cultures, all over the planet. It's humbling and it's empowering at the same time.

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