Sandra Rideout

Sandra Rideout

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Happy Valley-Goose Bay , Labrador

Sealskin clothing items, hat, mitts, coats, slippers

Sandra Dulcie Rideout (nee Best) is a 55 year old Inuit woman born and raised in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador to Robert and Vera Best.

Sandra is married and has 3 daughters, 1 step daughter, 2 grandsons and 3 granddaughters.

Upon completing a two year Secretarial Science Program at CONA in 1991 she gained employment with the Department of National Defence where she still works today.

Sandra is a true believer in her culture and exercises her traditional way of life by fishing, hunting and most notably, her love for the art of sewing.

Sandra has been sewing for years. Her mom, Vera Best and grandmother Dulcie Montague and Aunt Jane Gear were her biggest influences to the sewing world. Sandra grew up seeing her mother and grandmother constantly making duffle coats, moose hide and duffle slippers, mukluks and moose hide mitts, canvass coats and knitting a wide variety of items.

Sandra started sewing at about the age of 10; she started off hand sewing little things like throw pillows with people’s names on them.

When her own children were small she started knitting and crocheting then as her children grew so did Sandra’s interest in the traditional crafts. She got interested in slipper making and from there, traditional native mukluks, gauntlets, cuffs and leather/fur hats. Sandra has developed and uses her own pattern when making her mukluks and leather hats. In the last couple years she had started making seal skin coats and canvass/commander coats.

Sandra was chosen to attend the Northern Lights 2012, 2014, 2016 & 2018 Business and Cultural Showcase in Ottawa, to show her crafts to more than 3000 people. She was selected to attend the Northern Exposure in St. John’s, NL in 2013, was also selected to attend Sealing Day on the Hill in Ottawa May 2016. Nunavut (NACA) had select Sandra to attend a festival of the Northern Passage in Cambridge Bay, NU August 2016 for a weeklong event, where she taught a seal skin broach class.

In the years 2011 through to 2017 she was hired to teach seal skin cuff making mitts to a group of ladies of the Nunatsuivut membership and the Nunakatiget Inuit Comm corp. Also she taught a number of groups through the local Friendship Center.

Though Sandra leads a very busy home and work life, she still finds the time to do the sewing she loves, and carry on the tradition taught to her by her mother and grandmother.


2012 (awarded) : Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
Sandra Rideout / DND Civilian
Sandra has been a National Defence employee for 21 years. For the past 16 years she has worked at the Canadian Forces Housing Agency as receptionist and allocations clerk, providing great customer service and ensuring the Canadian Forces Military member’s transition to 5 Wing is as smooth as possible.
When allocating Housing units, fellow staff members often hear Sandra bringing interested Canadian Forces Military members up to speed on local area topics such as fishing in summer and winter, snowmobiling, game hunting, boating and cottage life.
The local information shared with our new 5 Wing residents, helps provide a preview of some of the outdoor activities a posting “on the Goose “has to offer.
Sandra’s passion for all that is Labrador, flows deeper still.
She has a tremendous skill and love for sewing traditional Labrador craft work that she has carried on from her aunts, her mother & grandmother.
To recognize the excellence she has achieved in this unique and beautiful Labrador tradition, Sandra was selected to represent the whole of Labrador as a craft producer at the 2012 Northern Lights Convention and Trade Show, held in Ottawa in February of 2012.
Sandra, you are hereby honoured today with distinction, for your exemplary work and service by receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.