MARGUERITE LAWINONKIE VINCENT
The Wendat manufacturing history began around 1830 with Marguerite Lawinonkie Vincent.
Born at the Bay of Quinte, near Lake Ontario, she was the daughter of Sawatanan Louis Vincent and Marie des Anges Chalifour and the half-sister of Grand Chief Tsawenhohi Nicolas Vincent. Her Wendat name, Lawinonkie, meant "she is a (beautiful) young woman".
With her leadership, she set up a workshop and manufactured shoes, mittens, snowshoes and toboggans. The business quickly became prosperous and several members of her family joined her.
More than an entrepreneurial accomplishment, Lawinonkie's workshop provides the community - and especially the women - an employment, a source of pride and a resilient and inventive way of livelihood.
Driven by the same business spirit as Lawinonkie, Maurice Sébastien Agniolen founded Maurice Bastien, the first major manufacturer of snowshoes, toboggans and moccasins, in 1878. With his great business acumen, he employed more than 80% of the Wendat families.
Among the Wendat, it was the beginning of modern commerce. And the recognition of the quality of the Bastien family's products is then well established. Between 1883 and 1896, Maurice Sébastien Agniolen became Grand Chief of the Wendat Nation.
Around 1920, Maurice Bastien's heirs, Maurice Junior and Cyrille, established the Bastien Brothers Company. At first specialized in the production of snowshoes and moccasins, the company then expanded and developed new products such as winter boots.
In 1964, the factory was destroyed by fire. Rather than rebuild it, it was transferred to the nearby non-indigenous village of Saint-Émile.
After working for a few years as manager of the Bastien Brothers factory, Roland Bastien, son of Cyrille Bastien, launched a factory in Wendake in 1972.
Inspired by Maurice Bastien's expertise and passion for making snowshoes and moccasins, Roland builds a successful company, Bastien Industries, making products worthy of his heritage.
In 1996, Mr. Roland Bastien's daughter, Mrs. Ginette Bastien, took over the organization and led it to new heights. The moccasins are now internationally distributed, but their confection still respects traditional techniques with the careful work of tailors, seamstresses, beadworkers and lacemakers.
In 2022, Jason Picard-Binet took over the leadership. Proud member of the Huron-Wendat Nation, he wishes to continue the work carried out by the Bastien family while bringing a touch of modernity.