Toni Helmer

Antoinette Helmer is a Kaigani Haida from the Prince of Wales Islands in Southeast Alaska. She learned to weave cedar bark and spruce root from her sister-in-law’s sister-in-law, Nancy Burgess, in 1991. When she first tried Ravenstail, it was like an old friend coming back. Her Ravenstail weavings are based on her Haida weaving. She learned Ravenstail from Cheryl Samual’s video, but had to adapt Cheryl’s technique to her Haida weaving to produce weavings that she could call Haida.

Toni’s principal crests are Eagle/Frog/Beaver. She also makes traditional Haida blankets, hats and earrings made with red and yellow cedar bark or spruce roots. The fur used in her weavings honors the animal’s spirit and comes from animals hunted for over-population.

Presently, Toni lives with her husband Dan, who is Haida from the Queen Charlotte Islands, in the Seattle area.