Hazel Pete

(American | Chehalis, born 1915, died 2003)

Native American artist Hazel Pete (Chehalis, 1915-2003) was a fifth-generation basketweaver of Chehalis heritage. She first learned how to weave baskets at age 5 by watching her grandmother. In her late teens, she studied art at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She went on to teach “American Indian arts and crafts” at schools through the Bureau of Indian Affairs system. Pete’s life’s work was teaching and keeping knowledge of basket making alive, including how to collect the materials and process them. She wove every day, making two baskets a day into her eighties.

Hazel Pete later went on to earn a bachelor's degree in education and Native American studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Western Washington, and a master's degree in education from the University of Washington in Seattle when she was in her sixties.

Pete was named a "Master Artist" in 1994 by the Washington State Arts Commission Folk Arts Program. She was honored with a Washington State Governor's Heritage Award in 2001.