Jen Dubois’ dream of opening a salon that follows First Nations protocols for hair came true when she opened Miyosiwin Salon on May 1.
She chose the name Miyosiwin, which is a Cree word meaning beauty.
“I have that strong connection now, showing people First Nations culture,” she said. “That’s what makes me feel good, staying true to my roots.”
Dubois learned about hair traditions from her husband Mike. He waited seven years before he would let her see him with his hair out. “Having my hair out in front of someone other than my family was a big step for me,” he said.
“Hair is a source of power,” he says. “It’s a connection to your spiritual side.”
Dubois braids her five-year-old son Eagle’s hair every morning. “There is at least one portion of the day when they are interacting with each other,” says Mike. “One on one, teaching Eagle about himself.”
Jen Dubois has female clients who will only cut their hair on a full moon. She always asks her clients if they want to keep the hair, to dispose of in their own way.
One of Dubois’ clients is Chasity Delorme. “I trust her,” says Delorme. “I’m very protective of my hair and she understands that.”
“To another hairstylist, they wouldn’t understand the spirit that is attached to hair,” says Delorme. “To them hair is hair.”
“Now people have somewhere to go,” says Delorme. “A salon that understands cultural sensitivity.”