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Insider Events – Medicine Bag workshop with Makatew Workshops

Insider Events MPI50

By: Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES | Jul 4, 2022

Makatew logo
Makatew Workshop 
Date: April 29-30, 2022 
City, Country: Toronto, ON 
Host Venue: Pan Pacific Hotel during the EVENT

Marc Forgette

Organizing Team:

Why did you start your company Makatew Workshops?

I started Makatew Workshops in June 2019 with the intention of sharing my culture with those interested in learning. At that point in time, I really didn’t have much of an idea as to what Makatew Workshops was going to offer in terms of services. The legal company name is Makatew Inc., after a few months and a couple of workshops later, I registered the operating name as Makatew Workshops.

How was the idea of the medicine bag workshop born?

After my contract with my previous employer ended, I updated my LinkedIn profile to Makatew Inc. and a few weeks later, I received a call from a meeting planner interested in Makatew and my services. She had an international group coming into Ottawa and she wanted to have Makatew provide an activity for the group, that’s when the medicine bag workshop idea came to be.

Makatew Workshop

What is the main objective of your workshops?

The main objective of the workshops is to share some teachings around the Indigenous culture and share knowledge about the differences between cultural appropriation and appreciation, with the emphasis on the latter. We also talk about Truth and Reconciliation and how that applies to the specific group I’m sharing with.

Elodie at workshop

What is unique about the medicine bag workshop?

Each medicine bag is hand cut using locally sourced white tail deer leather and hand-beaded in some circumstances. I believe in keeping with the traditional ways of the Anishinaabe (Algonquin).

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?

My biggest obstacle has been learning how to work with leather and to source the tools in order to be more efficient. Most of the tools I work with I’ve had to create and get made, as there isn’t anything that currently exists.

What are you the proudest of?

Starting something from nothing and seeing it through even during the hardest of times. 

What do you see for your company in the future?

I see Makatew Workshops continuing to grow and expanding my offerings and services.  Supporting other local businesses and Indigenous charities along the way.

Last words

I want to extend a huge thank you to my wife Lynne, for her incredible support and allowing me to follow my dreams, and to all those who have supported me along the way. Chi-Miigwetch!

Cynthia Headshot Article edited by Cynthia Beaudin, Canada Foundation for Innovation



EL Headshot
Elodie Lortal, CMP, DES
Catering Coordinator at National Arts Centre

📢 I am a bilingual meetings and events coordinator who helps clients and organizations to plan their events in one of our five unique meeting spaces. The National Arts Centre is an ideal Ottawa venue for virtual, hybrid, or in-person events.


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