Indigenous culture holds immense value and significance, not just for Indigenous peoples but for the world as a whole. It represents a rich heritage of traditions, beliefs, and practices that have been passed down through generations and continue to shape and inform contemporary Indigenous life. This cultural legacy is a testament to the resilience, creativity, and ingenuity of Indigenous communities in the face of centuries of colonization, discrimination, and marginalization.
One business that has played a significant role in preserving and celebrating Indigenous culture is Monague Native Crafts. Founded in 1982, this Indigenous-owned and operated business has become a leading supplier of Canadian Native souvenirs and giftware items, offering high-quality products crafted by hand using traditional techniques. Through their commitment to honouring cultural traditions and inclusive hiring practices, Monague Native Crafts has made an impactful contribution to the Canadian souvenir and giftware industry while also empowering Indigenous communities.
The Journey of Monague Native Crafts
The story of Monague Native Crafts is a testament to the resilience, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of Sandi Monague Roy and her family. With no formal business training, Sandi started the company while raising five daughters, two of whom have grown up to become integral members of the business. The family’s roots lie in the Beausoleil First Nations of Ontario (Ojibway), and their extensive travels have exposed them to diverse cultures around the world, fueling their passion for sharing experiences and knowledge with other Developing Peoples and future leaders.
Monague Native Crafts began as a mobile retail unit, selling their handcrafted products at Pow-Wows across North America. When demand from retailers grew, the family established an office location in British Columbia and shifted their focus to the wholesale business. Today, the company continues to expand, with a dedicated team of employees committed to providing superior customer service and inclusive hiring practices.
Honouring Cultural Traditions
The dedication of Monague Native Crafts to preserving cultural heritage is manifest in the company’s products, each of which is made by hand utilizing time-honoured methods that have been handed down from generation to generation. Every item, from jewellery and accessories to home décor and souvenirs, captures the distinct splendour and tradition of Canada’s First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.
Inclusive Hiring Practices
In addition, Monague Native Crafts places a high priority on employing people from diverse backgrounds and giving First Nations People and Women in Development the opportunity to participate in the company’s growth. The organization’s outstanding commitment to inclusive hiring earned them recognition, including the “Outstanding Commitment to Inclusive Hiring (Small Business) 2019” award at the Inclusive Employers Excellence Awards, which were presented by Archway Community Services of Abbotsford in partnership with Communitas Supportive Care Society. This award was presented to the organization in 2019.
Through their commitment to preserving and sharing Indigenous culture, Monague Native Crafts has made an impactful contribution to the Canadian souvenir and giftware industry. By supporting their handmade products, customers not only acquire high-quality items but also contribute to the economic empowerment of Indigenous communities. In 2019 alone, Monague Native Crafts provided over 80 women with an opportunity to make an income while working from home and feeling good about their contribution to their families.
In addition to being a successful business, Monague Native Crafts is a rousing ode to Indigenous American history and tradition. Their inclusive recruiting policies and commitment to preserving ethnic traditions make them a standout in the Canadian souvenir and giftware market. When people buy from Monague Native Crafts, they are adding to Canada’s cultural diversity while also getting something very special.
Visit Monague Native Crafts’ website https://www.monague.com/ today to support Indigenous artisans, honour cultural traditions, and bring home unique and meaningful handmade products.
Indigenous SME Business Magazine is a vital tool for anyone with an interest in the Indigenous-owned business sector. With its insightful articles and current news, the magazine provides invaluable insights into the latest industry trends and developments. It is a robust platform that keeps Indigenous communities, and others informed about the various challenges and opportunities in the Indigenous business sector. Feel free to follow our Twitter handle @IndigenousSme for real-time updates and news.