Nanci Ransom, Bear Clan, enjoys making baskets out of black ash splint and sweet grass. She began traditional basket making with her friends and mentors, Sheila Ransom and Debbie Cook-Jacobs. She's hoping to carry on the tradition to her grandchildren. She grew up on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation, in the village of St. Regis, Quebec.
Her father, Dave Thompson, supported his family through his hard working character traits as an accomplished pack basket maker, carpenter, gardener and retired iron worker. As a little girl, she remembers helping her father loading pack baskets into a vehicle and hauling them by the dozens to Landry's Store in Hogansburg, New York.
Her father purchased groceries and household necessities in exchange for his baskets. Her father Dave was one of main inspirations in her life for basket-making and remembers his hard working hands and gentle smile. Her mother Elizabeth was a fancy basket-maker who made tiny sweet grass baskets and braided sweet grass as part of her crafts. She remembers sitting beside her at times and learning to braid the tightly woven sweet grass and miniature baskets and smelling the distinctive sweet scent of the sweet grass and splint throughout her house. In the early mornings in the village you can hear the distinct sound of black ash logs being pounded throughout the village for basket makers. "It was like music in the village" she said.