Indigenous women have created beautiful garments from traded cloth and ribbons for centuries. Today, the tradition of making ribbon skirts continues in native communities as an expression of resilience and connection.
In this class with Sarah Adams-Cornell, you’ll learn to create a traditional long skirt without a pattern. Sarah will demonstrate ribbon appliqué to the entire class and indigenous participants will be invited to add ribbons to their skirts. Non-native participants may embellish their long skirts with other decorative elements.
Participants will need to provide their own sewing machine. All other materials are provided!
Sarah Adams-Cornell’s mother taught her how to sew and she enjoys sewing with and for her daughters. She learned how to bead, make moccasins, Choctaw regalia items and speak her language at the OK Choctaw Tribal Alliance alongside her elders and Choctaw sisters. Sarah believes that this art is part of her healing work and strives to provide spaces for indigenous women to gather and join in.
Sarah is an advocate for Native American culture, education and rights. She is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Sovereign Community School where she focuses on community engagement. Sarah co-created an intertribal, empowerment organization called Matriarch that serves indigenous women in central and NE Oklahoma. Sarah is the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Oklahoma. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Live Indigenous OK and worked alongside other Native advocates to see Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognized in OKC. Sarah is a board member of Not Your Mascot, proud ally member of Central Oklahoma Two Spirit Society, serves on the leadership team of Women’s March OKC and was Activist in Residence at the University of Oklahoma.
Sarah was awarded the NCAIED Native American 40 Under 40, Journal Record 50 Women Making a Difference, Phi Mu Woman of the Year, the Gazette’s 40 Under 40, Oklahoma Humanitarian Award and Cottey College Young Alumna of the Year.
Sarah has worked alongside other advocates to eliminate Land Run Reenactments and Native mascots in OKC Public Schools and co-created a program called Oklahoma History Day, a diverse and accurate account of Oklahoma history through statehood.
Through Matriarch, Live Indigenous OK and Idle No More Central Oklahoma, Sarah has helped host rallies and meetings throughout Oklahoma to educate and bring light to human and environmental injustices. Both groups champion issues like MMIW, the Violence Against Women Act, preservation of the Indian Child Welfare Act, opposition to Tar Sands pipelines and DAPL, protection of sacred sites, healing generational trauma, supporting Native youth and indigenizing education.
Sarah values the traditional ways of her people. She and her daughters have learned the Choctaw language and enjoy singing, dance, beading, basket making, dress making and history classes to help preserve, pass on and celebrate their Choctaw heritage.
She attended Cottey College and the University of Oklahoma and has two daughters, Bella and Gabbie. Sarah works for her parent’s company, RedLand Sheet Metal and lives in Oklahoma City.
Thanks to the generosity of many donors, ahha Tulsa provides camp, class, and workshop scholarships to currently enrolled K–12 students with demonstrated financial need.
To apply for a scholarship for this program, please complete this form (do not complete registration at the link to the right). A letter of support from a caseworker or school counselor is required for consideration.
Programs and dates are subject to change. Ahha Tulsa reserves the right to cancel programs due to low enrollment or other conflicts. If cancellation occurs, registered participants will be contacted by ahha staff and will be refunded the full tuition. If another session is available, we will be more than happy to transfer your enrollment to that session.
With inclement weather always possible, ahha reserves the right to close and cancel any scheduled classes and programs depending on severe weather conditions. If the ahha Hardesty Center is closed, a notice will be posted on our website. You may also call 918-584-3333 to confirm.
Beyond cancellations, no refunds or exchanges.
Image credit: Ribbon Skirt (Green) by Aiukli Designs Photo by Doug Hoke