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First Nations Initiatives

Indigenous-owned salons create sense of belonging, community

By 9 July, 2023August 21st, 2023No Comments

An Indigenous woman in Mornington Island, Australia, getting her hair done at an Indigenous-owned hair salon.

9 July, 2023 — In 2017, Mornington Island Hair Salon was established in a remote region of Australia to address a crucial community need.

The salon aimed to provide a welcoming space exclusively for Indigenous women seeking specialized hair care tailored to their specific requirements. Additionally, it aimed to offer young women an opportunity to acquire valuable skills and enter the workforce by providing them with a platform to learn a trade.

By offering initiatives like their youth program, doll program, and engagement activities, the salon surpasses the boundaries of a traditional hairdresser shop. Its primary goal is to equip these women with comprehensive skillsets necessary to become professional hairdressers, empowering them to potentially establish similar establishments within their own communities.

Recognizing parallel needs within the Canadian Indigenous community, an Indigenous salon was established in Regina, Saskatchewan in 2017 — driven by a shared understanding of the cultural significance of hair within Indigenous traditions. The community sought a dedicated space that truly understood their unique requirements, leading to the creation of Miyosiwin Salon Spa.

The establishment of Mornington Island Hair Salon in Australia and Miyosiwin Salon Spa in Canada exemplify the power of community-driven initiatives. These salons have not only filled a crucial gap in providing specialized hair care for Indigenous women, but have also become catalysts for empowerment and skill development.

By creating inclusive spaces and offering programs tailored to their communities’ needs, these salons have enabled individuals to gain valuable skills, enter the workforce, and potentially establish similar enterprises in their own communities. The success and impact of these salons serve as inspiring examples of how addressing specific cultural needs can foster self-sufficiency, pride, and a sense of belonging within Indigenous communities.

Watch our short video on how we launched the Morning Island Hair Salon in 2017. The salon is a fun, engaging, and safe place for women and girls to gain confidence, work experience, and skills and training certification. The first of its kind in a remote First Nations community, we are proud of its success.