Indigenous Youth: a Driving Force for Economic Growth and Cultural Transmission
More and more First Nations Youth are showing their determination to contribute to the economic and cultural prosperity of their communities through the perpetuation of traditions. Frédérique Gros-Louis meets exactly this definition. She is a young entrepreneur of the Huron-Wendat Nation and she creates regalia and customised beadwork.
Based in Wendake, Frédérique Gros-Louis is a 24 year old entrepreneur. Her business « FGL Artisanat » offers services in the confection of traditional dance outfits (regalia and traditional skirts) and beadwork (jewelry and accessories) for First Nation members who wish to become involved in pow-wows and traditional ceremonies. Being a pow-wow dancer herself since six years, her business project stemmed from her various performances on the ground.
« From year to year, I could see the number of dancers increase. Habitually, dancers create their regalia themselves or they ask a family member to do it for them. There is a shortage of craftspeople to make the dancers’ traditional clothes; this is why I started to make my own regalia outfits. One thing leading to another, the other dancers started to ask me where my regalia came from, and from there, I started to get orders to make regalia and beadwork, without even being known as an artisan »,underlined Frédérique.
Today, Frédérique offers her services mainly in Wendake. She proposes regalia (for the Jingle Dress Dance and « Fancy shawl ») and traditional skirts for women, teens and children. The latter are a clientele with a lot of potential for Frédérique’s activity, because a growing number of parents, especially locally, wish to share their Native culture with their children at a very early age.
She also proposes customised beadwork under the form of jewelry and hair accessories. For the time being, she does not make regalia for men, because there are very few dancers in Wendake, but she hopes that in the future, she will be getting orders from that clientele.
During approximately seven months, Frédérique Gros-Louis was coached in her business creation project by the FNQLEDC, particularly for the drafting of her business plan and in her quest for funding, so her enterprise would get the equipment necessary for the fabrication of her products. In fact, it is with great pride that we learned that Frédérique has obtained funds from the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones (SAA).
We congratulate her on this unqualified success. As envisaged in a corporate vision, we wish her every success in becoming a benchmark in Aboriginal traditional clothing in Quebec!
To see Frédérique’s creations, we invite you to consult her FGL Artisanat Facebook page.
For other portraits of companies, we invite you to consult our youth entrepreneurship section.