Growing up as an Indigenous woman in an environment where her parents were shamed for their heritage, Jennifer Dubois, the owner of Miyosiwin Salon, said it is her job to forge the path to reconciliation and create a positive example of her culture.
Miyosiwin, meaning “beauty” in Cree, sits at 1751 Broad St. in downtown Regina and provides a unique spa experience to Indigenous and non-Indigenous clients who can find a place of comfort and relaxation inside the walls of the business.
“I wanted to create a business that highlighted my culture in a positive way,” said Dubois. “I noticed there was a gap in the industry when I was working for other salons and I wanted to fill that gap with this type of business.”
Kyra Menhart, a client of Miyosiwin Salon, said that until she heard about the business, she had never found a salon that she felt fully comfortable in.
“Growing up I never really had the chance to learn a lot about my Metis culture until I began studying at the First Nations University in Regina,” said Menhart.
“This is where I learned about the salon and thought I better try it out. Stepping into the salon I instantly felt comfortable and wanted to learn more about what they do.”
Dubois aims to create a positive space where anyone can feel comfortable while receiving a variety of services ranging from hair styling to facials and pedicures. She believes that what sets them apart from other salons in the industry is their respect and awareness of Indigenous cultural practices and traditions.
“A lot of Indigenous clients who come in don’t understand their culture that well so I think that even though we are just a salon and spa, we help them with that process,” said Dubois.
We also provide an open space for non-Indigenous clients to ask questions and feel comfortable coming into a space that highly promotes being Indigenous.”
Menhart said the salon offers so much more than just hair care and spa services because they shine a light on Indigenous owned businesses and culture.
“They are such an important business in the city because they brand and promote themselves as an Indigenous salon,” said Menhart. “There is no one like them and they have so much respect for all of their clients.”
Dubois not only promotes Indigenous culture inside her salon, but also through engaging with the community. The team at Miyosiwin Salon often travels to Indigenous communities throughout Saskatchewan and provide services to on–reserve members free of charge. They also attend community events and youth and elder days. Dubois said they enjoy engaging with the community because it is necessary to help them understand how important self-care is.
“Self-care is a big thing and we promote it because it is important to understand that you need to be healthy and happy to be able to take care of yourself and others. This is just our little way of giving back.” said Dubois.
Looking forward, Dubois believes the salon has come at a great time to teach people about what reconciliation really means. She said as long as the salon doors are open, her team will continue to inspire and promote Indigenous–run businesses meanwhile offering top quality professional services.