'Bring down those barriers': Grant helping Regina salon launch training program for First Nations youth
A Regina salon plans to launch a remote training program for First Nations youth, thanks to money from a national grant.
Indigenous-owned Miyosiwin Salon Spa was one of three small businesses across the country to receive a grant through Mazda Canada’s Local Legends initiative.
“To be selected out of how many small businesses across Canada is just phenomenal to me, it just blows me away,” said Jennifer Dubois, the owner of Miyosiwin Salon Spa.
The salon was nominated by an anonymous community member. Dubois said when she was contacted by Mazda it was “just pure surprise and excitement.”
“Just the kindness of somebody’s heart to feel that we were worthy enough to have such an award and recognition is, I can’t even describe it with words,” said Dubois.
The salon has been in the process of moving to a new location at 434 Broad St. since September, and with the renovation of the space taking longer than planned, the plans to launch a training program were going to be put on hold.
The grant has made it possible to finish the renovations and then start the program up shortly after.
Dubois said the remote training program will be for students who don’t have easy access to the city with an online platform for curriculum and the ability to have the instructors go to the students in their communities for the practical portion.
She added it will also slow the timeline of the course down, allowing more flexibility in timing than a traditional academy would.
“To be able to offer this type of programming to youth, especially First Nation youth, it will help them achieve their goals and hopefully bring down those barriers a little bit for them,” Dubois explained.
These barriers, of time and distance, are ones she and her staff know personally, seeing and experiencing the struggles first hand.
“We want to be able to help those students build that confidence that they need and potentially come and work for us in the future so we can expand, or stay in their community and expand and grow there,” said Dubois.
The program will be for advanced training, starting with a lash certification and then eventually moving into cosmetology.
The remote program will launch after the salon’s renovations are complete, which should be by next month.