Secord received the award because of her skills using ash and sweet grass to make Indian baskets, as well as for her role in raising the awareness of the Indian (Native American) basket making tradition within her community and the larger world, said Cliff Murphy, the NEA’s director of folk and traditional arts. “She has been a selfless advocate for other people for a long time,” Murphy said.
Secord is founder of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, which is credited with saving traditional basket making in Maine. She learned basketry from elder Penobscot basket maker Madeline Tomer Shay, who inspired Secord “to save the art form.”
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