Niska (which means Goose in the Cree language) is a social enterprise, working in the North of Ontario with a mandate to educate, to supplement the income of more than 30 Indigenous artisans and their families; and to preserve a way of life for the communities living along the west coast of James Bay.
Mennonite Central Committee Ontario has long recognized the importance of income earned by Indigenous artisans in Ontario's North East. It is for this very reason that MCC Ontario and community partners have worked to establish a presence for Aboriginal Artisans, providing them visibility in the north.
Lyndsay Mollins Koene, MCC Ontario's Aboriginal Neighbours Program Coordinator says "It is time to continue this journey, and work at the development of a vision that embeds this economy as viable creating the 'good life', for all those participating in the program!" As a result the Niska Artisan program has flown south to MCC Ontario's head office at 50 Kent in Kitchener.
The official launch took place on September 11. Guests enjoyed tea and bannock with artisan Josephine Sutherland. Josephine demonstrated her beautiful beadwork which will now be available for purchase in the MCC Ontario offices.
View this interview with Lucie Iserhoff, Niska Artisan