Joanne Patenaude is a proud French Métis woman, an artist, and the founder of C’est ta Vie Jewelry.
My familial lineage stems from the Cree and French peoples of the Red River. I was told my great-grandmother would use white powder on her face to hide her identity, so I wasn’t raised with Metis traditions. It was through my Uncle Aimé that I found my way, he shared with me his knowledge of our family history.
Year after year, I celebrate my culture and heritage at the largest and longest-running Winnipeg Winter festival, Le Festival du Voyageur with fiddle music, dancing and jigging, and bright, intricately embroidered clothing, beading, and sashes. I’ve been attending this annual festival since I was a young girl, even before I knew of my family history; yet I intuitively knew it was part of my fabric. I felt a deep sense of belonging there. In 2016, my life came full circle when my business, C’est ta Vie Jewelry, became a vendor at the Festival. My creations were amongst all the other artists’ work, and I truly felt at home. I was honoured and felt valued.
I was born and raised in the small humble town of St. Malo, Manitoba, I often find myself reminiscing about my upbringing. Waking up to the distinct smell of coffee, with the background noise of 70`s music. These sounds and smells bring me back to a pleasant place. Life was simple, beautiful, and serene. I was a happy, boisterous child and a busy one, too. Music and nature became a daily habit, a need, and release.
This year, I am celebrating 10 years as an entrepreneur, founder, and creator of C’est ta Vie jewelry. C’est ta Vie Jewelry (French for It’s your Life) is the product of hope, whirling creativity, taking risks, supportive family and good friends, rescued cats and dogs, and an adventurous spirit.
My mission is to empower my patrons with bold and punchy statement pieces. I believe we are all here for a purpose, that not only are we connected to all living beings, but we are also connected to the crystals, metals, and stones of our Mother Earth.
In addition to fulfilling my purpose of creating beautiful jewelry pieces, I have passionately dedicated my career to the non-profit sector for more than 25 years. It brings me great pleasure to make a positive change in the lives of people in my community. I am grateful that I have found my niche within the non-profit sector and currently working as Senior Manager, New Partnership Development for United Way Winnipeg.
I am a vegan – for the love and respect of all living beings. I also embody the values of the Seven Grandfather teaching – wisdom, love, respect, courage, honesty, humility, and truth – all essential to living a full and healthy life, as a moral steppingstone and cultural foundation to which I live my life every day.