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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America



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Tammy Beauvais Designs - Grandmother Inspired Young Mohawk Designer


by Annabelle Dionne - Indian and Northern Affairs Canada


credits: photo 1: Tammy Beauvais; photo 2: Micro Suede Wrap; photo 3: Shawl Collar Coat


Tammy BeauvaisYoung Mohawk designer Tammy Beauvais understands very well that starting your own business is no ticket to the easy life. "You have to work hard to make a name for yourself," she says.

Beauvais's name is getting more attention these days, thanks to the cashmere shawls she created for the wives of 34 heads of state attending the Summit of the Americas in Québec City. She made the shawls at the request of Aline Chrétien, wife of the Prime Minister. Beauvais has received some orders for her clothing as a result of that high-profile exposure. But she's very aware that she's just starting out, and that a great deal of work lies ahead.

Opening her own fashion design company, Tammy Beauvais Designs, in Kahnawake, Quebec in January 1999, was her childhood dream come true. Since she was 10 years old, Beauvais has wanted to follow in her grandmother's footsteps. A highly respected member of the community, her grandmother made traditional clothing for children and adults. "She had a big influence on my work," says Beauvais, who incorporates traditional Mohawk symbols into her designs.

Micro Suede WrapIn just two-and-a-half years, Beauvais has succeeded in creating her own niche in the fashion world. With the help of her friend, Marvin Delormier, her designs are now sold in more than 40 boutiques in Canada and the United States. "Marvin was a big help in finding stores interested in selling my work," Beauvais explains. "I find the rest of my business on the road, at pow-wows, conferences and trade shows."

The young designer's next goal is to open an Aboriginal Fashion Centre in Kahnawake - a project that will likely take a few more years before it becomes a reality. "I can't achieve this dream by myself," Beauvais admits. "I need the support of my community and of other designers. I've already met with one designer in Kahnawake and another one in Toronto to get the project going."

To realize this dream, Beauvais plans to hire about 20 people to produce authentic Aboriginal clothing of the highest quality. The Centre will offer training on computerbased design, and provide international marketing services to Aboriginal people from North America and around the world. It will also help develop international partnerships for the exchange of materials for clothing created by Aboriginal designers. Beauvais recognizes this is a tall order, but she has no doubt about the project's feasibility. "It's big, but it can be done," she says confidently.

Shawl Collar CoatIn May, Beauvais attended the 8th World Summit of Young Entrepreneurs in Brussels, Belgium, with the help of funding from Aboriginal Business Canada. There, her idea for the Aboriginal Fashion Centre was very well received, and caught the interest of five young designers from Laos, Ireland, Nigeria, Uganda and Benin. With these new colleagues, Beauvais plans to create an international design centre on the Internet so that young designers from around the world can offer each other support and advice. She sees the Internet site as an exciting complement to the Aboriginal Fashion Centre, and a project from which young Aboriginal designers worldwide can benefit.

For more information, visit the Tammy Beauvais Designs Web site at




Museums Showing Tammy Beauvais Designs


Heard Museum Phoenix, Arizona


Mashantucket Pequot Aboriginal Museum, Connecticut


McCord Museum of Canadian History, Montreal

Tammy Beauvais Designs Wall of Fame


Robert DeNiro owns one of Tammy's satin Tree of Peace Vest


Eric Roberts owns a Tammy Beauvais Designs Cashmere Wool Scarf


Pope John Paul II owns a satin Katri Tekakwitha Scarf


Aline Chretien and all the First Ladies of North, South, and Central America own a famous Sky Women Cape

Shows and Events featuring Tammy Beauvais Designs


Eitel Jorg Indian Market Indianapolis, Indiana


Echos of a Proud Nation Powwow Kahnawake, Quebec


Santa Fe Indian Market Santa Fe, New Mexico


Gonandagon Rochester, New York


Heard Museum Phoenix, Arizona

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 of Vicki Barry and Paul Barry.

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