Kelly Church, a fifth-generation basket maker who grew up in southwestern Michigan, is a member of the Pottawatomi/Ottawa, Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Tribe. Church studied the Odawa language from her paternal grandmother and learned black ash basketry from her father, Bill Church, and cousin, John Pigeon. She, in turn, has taught her daughter, Cherish Parrish. Church won the National Museum of the American Indian Artist Leadership Program Award in 2010, a Native Scholars Fellowship in 2016 from the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Endowment for the Arts named her as one of its National Heritage Fellows in 2018. She has an AFA degree from the Institute of American Indian Studies and a BFA degree from the University of Michigan.