Walking in Their Shoes

Using your feet to practice and preserve a priceless Indigenous tradition.

The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto has collaborated with footwear brand Manitobah Mukluks and the non-profit TreadRight Foundation to co-organize a series of sessions that highlights indigenous mukluk boots. Named Storyboot School, this event aims to preserve, promote, and raise public awareness about the North American Indigenous footwear culture.

Held at the Toronto Bata Shoe Museum, the school will exhibit footwear as well as provide workshops to teach students, visitors, and foreign tourists how to make mukluks. Storyboot School is also an opportunity for artisans from all over Canada to exhibit and sell their mukluk creations to visitors.

Manitoba Mukluks, co-organizer of Storyboot School, is a well-known Canadian brand of handmade shoes, mukluk boots, and moccasins. By hosting Storyboot School, the company hopes the art of making these boots and moccasin will be handed down and inspire generations of young artisans.

The non-profit TreadRight Foundation, established by The Travel Corporation, is another co-organizer of the event. The foundation promotes multicultural exchange by supporting organizations and artisan associations that maintain and develop traditional handicrafts imbued with cultural identity. “To do ethical travel in Canada you have to walk alongside its indigenous people. This is a way for visitors to make contact with a real life practitioner of a living art rather than just reading about it on a museum wall,” notes Tara Barnes, vice president of marketing for Manitobah Mukluks.

Mukluk Making

Saturdays: 1 p.m – 4 p.m
April 18 – June 13, 2020 (no class on May 16)
Length: 8 weeks
Location: Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor St W.
Additional information available at: batashoemuseum.ca/event/storyboot-school-2

Photo courtesy of Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School.

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