Candice Ryan of CFWE-FM speaks with Émilie McKinney, a Grade 12 student from Swan Lake First Nation in Manitoba, and owner of Anishinaabe Bimishimo
Address: Box 441 - 502 Fraser St., Somerset, Manitoba R0G 2L0, Canada
Émilie McKinney, a Grade 12 student from Swan Lake First Nation in Manitoba, is owner of Anishinaabe Bimishimo.
She started her jingle cone business when she was just 16, simply because she wanted to make her own jingle dress.
She couldn’t find a local supplier and off-shore jingle cones were expensive. So, Émilie started making her own at a third of the cost and that’s when the business idea began to take shape.
“January 2017 I wanted to make myself a jingle dress but our local supplier retired out of old age, and the next shop that we went to to look for jingles they were selling a bag of a hundred for $40.00. And it takes about 300 to 400 jingles just to be able to make a dress, so if you do the quick math… it can get pretty expensive.
“On top of that, the jingles were also made in Taiwan… so I kind of thought to myself, ‘Well, it’s expensive, first of all and second of all, you have this, supposed to be the sacred Native object that’s being made in Taiwan. To me it didn’t make sense.”
So Émilie thought “Maybe I should just make a company.”
The name is important to her identity. Anishinaabe means ‘Native person’, and Bimishimo means ‘dancing by’. Now Émilie is living her dream, producing locally made jingles. She hopes to soon meet her goals of giving back to her community.