Parfleche Bags

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12

Location: Visual Art Studios at St. Albert Place (Art Gallery of St. Albert)

Program Delivery: In Person, In School, and Virtual

Indigenous Peoples from across the plains would harvest animals for food and use the skin to create useful objects. The most widely used natural material was rawhide; the result of tanning animal skins by fleshing and removing the hair by scraping. The word parfleche came from French Fur traders and it meant “pare” for prepared and “fleche” for arrow. Rawhide is so strong and durable, it could be used to create drums, rattles, protective shields, or useful containers for transporting food and other goods, known as parfleche bags. Students will learn how to create a miniature reproduction of a traditional rawhide parfleche bag and decorate it with their choice of colours and symbols.



  • Social: Belonging and Connecting, Canada’s Dynamic Communities
  • Science: Colours, Animals, Seasons 


Student Outcomes

  • Students will engage in inquiry, experimentation, design and sharing of their own artistic work
  • Students will build relationships within a variety of communities and make connections to others through participation in the arts
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of specialized concepts and apply techniques, technologies, and related vocabulary in arts disciplines