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Connie Graves, of Umpqua and Kalapuya heritage, is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Introduced first to Appalachian-style basketweaving, she was captivated by the art form. Unable to find anyone who could teach tribal weaving traditions, Graves took every available class and studied a variety of traditional baskets. Eventually, the Grand Ronde Cultural Resources Department sponsored classes taught by Margaret Mathewson, an ethnobotanist and accomplished weaver, who furthered Graves's knowledge of native weaving techniques and materials. When she began collecting and preparing her own materials, weaving became an essential part of her life. Today, Graves takes every opportunity to pass on her knowledge: ""When I needed to know, there was really no one left in the tribe to tell me. It is important to share this with others, even if they never make a basket.""