We Are All Treaty People

OTC supports the Masked Makers

  • Published - 14/05/2020
  • |
  • Posted By - OTC
  • |

Share this with others:


The Office of the Treaty Commissioner is pleased to partner with and support the work of the Masked Makers, a group of 15 seamstresses located throughout Saskatchewan making masks to support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Angela Bishop began the project in March because she felt it was needed.

“Naturally I am concerned, I am from the northern community of Green Lake and I understand that there are a number of very complex issues and challenges at play in to our communities, so it is quite worrisome,” she said.

“I started to sew a few masks for my mom, my stepdad, who has cancer, and my brother, who drives medical taxi up north, because they don’t have the fortune of being able to stay home. After I made the masks I shared on social media some of the pictures and information on how to make a mask.”

It quickly grew.

“I initially thought I would just share my knowledge, to teach others how, and then I started getting so many mask requests that I asked my family to help,” Angela said. “For several weeks, only a few family members were helping, but I realized this was not enough, so I reached out to friends to ask for help.”

In the past few weeks they have sent more than 1,200 masks to the communities of La Loche, English River, Beauval, Green Lake, Buffalo Narrows, Pinehouse, and Ile a la Crosse. Another more than 1,000 masks have been shipped to individuals across Canada, the Navajo Nation in the USA, AIDS Saskatoon, and other communities and organizations.

All of the masks they make are free and are intended to incorporate Indigenous culture. For Elders with hearing aids, the group got bands to secure masks behind the hand instead of around the ears, with the words Awas Ota, which loosely translates in Cree as, 'get away from here.'

"It's social distancing in the Cree language," Angela said.

The Masked Makers believe it is important that Indigenous communities have access to reusable face masks, to protect everyone, she said.

“An individual at risk, is a family at risk, is a community at risk, is a Nation at risk, the mask we put on the face of others protects our communities,” Angela said.

For more information or to support their work visit Angela's Facebook post: The Masked Makers – We’ve Got You Covered on Facebook.