Anâna’s Basket – Jolene Rolle

Anâna’s Basket

In the beginning, Jolene Rolle’s forays into sewing were born out of necessity. With the pending arrival of her first child in 2006, she wanted to ensure her baby stayed toasty warm in the depths of a Northern Quebec winter. With guidance from members of her Inuit community in Kuujjuaq, Jolene learned how to make kamiks (homemade boots with sealskin legs) and sealskin mittens. By 2009, the Inuk artisan had become so enamoured and adept with the craft that she began selling her creations. Today, Jolene continues to craft kamiks and sealskin mitts, as well as moccasins and slippers. She’s also learned the art of beadwork and traditional grass sewing. 

 

Born and raised in Nain, the northernmost permanent community in Newfoundland and Labrador, Jolene was introduced to her Inuit culture and traditions from an early age. Learning to create the same items of clothing her ancestors made for centuries helps Jolene remain connected to her culture. Keeping their traditions alive is a deep source of pride for the mother of three. She is grateful for the guidance of her mentors, Jennifer Watkins, Madge Berthe, and Belinda Shiwak, who taught her how to make boots, mitts, and grasswork, respectively.

Over the years, Jolene has developed her own style, which blends traditional materials, such as sealskin, rabbit fur and fox fur, with modern-day textiles. She retails her products through her business, Anaana’s Basket. Named in honour of her great-grandmother’s sewing basket, which was gifted to Jolene, it serves as a great source of pride and joy that she is carrying on her ancestor’s traditions.  

Jolene works with UPEI’s Indigenous Knowledge, Education, Research, and Applied Studies (IKERAS) Faculty and resides in Charlottetown with her husband and three children.

Jolene Rolle