In the mid-1800s, Catholic nuns came to Chipewyan territory to teach the Native Americans about their religion.
At the same time, the nuns instructed the Native Americans in a new craft, floral embroidery.
Chipew yan women already decorated their clothes with dyed porcupine quills, but they were difficult to work with. They found the thread and beads given to them by non-Native Americans much easier to sew into curving forms.
Soon their favorite pattern became brilliant and beautiful floral shapes modeled on the wild flowers of their homeland.