On August 20, the Tourism team from Kanesatake Economic and Business Development were at the Marche public du VieuxSaint-Eustache, representing and promoting local businesses and entrepreneurs as part of a project called Kanehsatà:ke Collective.
“The Kanehsatake Collective is a small project that the Tourism team is currently trialling. The idea revolves around representing the community here in Kanehsatake in small markets to encourage more support for the community,” said Caira Nicholas, the organization’s tourism development officer.
Nicholas said that this project is accessible to all local business owners whether they have a storefront or only a few products or are only in operation seasonally. She explained that it was an opportunity for those who wanted to explore the market in larger demographics.
“Participants could coordinate with the team to establish what they want to send with us, and at no cost, the team would be in the market to both sell and publicize on behalf of the entrepreneur,” she said.
“The goal was to utilize the space and let the community shine. This included: “Fresh produce from the Skatne Ronatehiarontie garden project, along with a variety of handmade beaded pieces, local Indigenous products, and small businesses from the community.”
Additionally, she said the tourism team thought it would be the perfect opportunity for people to try out something different without the commitment of running a booth on their own.
“We also wanted to create an opportunity that would encourage people to come back to the territory to continue to support the hard-working entrepreneurs,” said Nicholas.
Some of the businesses and products that were featured and sold included beaded products, blankets, and moccasins from Wolf Crafts, jams and jellies from Karenhatase Karhata’keha, beaded earrings from Myrna’s beaded bling, t-shirts and stickers from Unceded Land, merchandise and promos from Fuel Bar Kanehsatake and the Kanehsatake Cross Fit gym as well as local handmade items from Tess Lalonde Sewing Studio and music from the Kontirenontatie - Kanehsatake Women Singers.
“The turnout was great. We had an abundance of products at our booth, where curious people came to hear about the local businesses within our community,” said Nicholas.
“This was the first time we tried something like this, so there was a lot of learning and trialling to get through, but we had a lot of fun and kept busy answering questions and encouraging passersby to take a look.”
Moreover, Nicholas said that the feedback from customers at the market was very positive, and the team made it a point to invite them to the Kanehsatake Pow Wow, which took place last weekend.
“On Saturday, September 17, there will be a special free event happening that we are excited to be attending. The festival de la galette de Saint-Eustache will be held at the market from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” she said.
“Invite your family to visit the public market and enjoy a beautiful day shopping and chatting with us! We can’t wait to see you there. For any businesses interested in participating by featuring your products or services at the booth on this day, please reach out to us by September 10.”
Marisela Amador, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door