JANUARY 13, 2004


Rose was born near the Turtle Mountain Reservation (TMR) in Belcourt, North Dakota, on July 21, 1921, and attended boarding school in Fort Totten, North Dakota. At 18, she returned home to the Turtle Mountains. Rose and her husband, Francis Cree, were highly respected Ojibwe elders on the TMR and, together, created award-winning willow baskets. Their lives reflected “the intersection of artistic skill, tribal knowledge, and cultural authority.” The Crees collaborated in collecting the materials. Francis made the frames from ash and Rose weaved the willows. Both were storytellers and keepers of Ojibwe cultural knowledge. They were jointly awarded the North Dakota Governor’s Award for the Arts in 1984 and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in 2002.

Sources:  “Rose and Francis Cree (TM Ojibwe Elders),” Dibaajimowin: Elder Stories.  Retrieved 8/21/2019, https://www.dibaajimowin.com/elders/francis-rose-cree-tm-ojibwe-elders
“Rose and Francis Cree,” National Endowment for the Arts.  Retrieved 8/21/2019, https://www.arts.gov/honors/heritage/fellows/rose-and-francis-cree
Photo:  Rose Cree, Lidded Carrying Basket, 1992, ash, willow, and leather.  Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Martha G. Ware and Steven R. Cole, 2011.47.13A-B.  Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum

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