The Purple Dragonfly Trading Post offers a variety of products that promote health and wellness, and for owner Leah Kanerahta’ró:roks Diome it is much more than just a business, it is a sacred space. (Daniel J. Rowe, The Eastern Door)
Last Friday saw the soft opening of The Purple Dragonfly Trading Post, a tea, artisanal and health product shop that local owner Leah Kanerahta’ró:roks Diome said is a welcoming space for all.
“We promote learning, growth, and connections with individuals within Kahnawake, its sister communities and nations through a system of commerce, bartering, wellness, and health and cultural workshops,” said Diome.
The idea behind the shop is a culmination of Diome’s many passions, as well as her cultural, personal, and professional background. Diome is a registered nurse, naturopath, yoga instructor, and artist who has advocated for health, wellness, and connectedness for many years now.
“I want people to come here as a sacred place to restore the mind, body, and spirit, where they can rejuvenate themselves and leave the stresses of life behind,” she said.
This therapeutic and calming feeling resonates throughout the store in the Onkwenhón:we art that adorns the walls, the smell of the different of teas and herbs, and the serene music that plays in the background.
The shop sells many different products, including personalized tea blends, which Diome said, were either wild crafted or organic, prepared herbal blends to fortify and support overall health.
Diome hand-made much of the art that is found in the store and uses her garden (located at the back of the store) to harvest many herbs.
“My grandfather did medicine. He was a condoled chief, and my family has supported herbs and medicine, so there’s that connection too,” said Diome.
Local Indigenous foods will also be available at The Purple Dragonfly, including walleye nuggets, sturgeon, deer meat shepherd’s pie, vegan bannock, corn mush, and strawberries, to go with organic and gluten-free foods.
Although Diome tries to source products locally whenever possible, she is not opposed to getting some of the items from elsewhere, and in fact, she said she welcomes it.
“We have brothers and sisters and Indigenous peoples that are not just Mohawk,” she said. “We support the economic development of our community. I am open to working with any community member as long as it is consistent with our values. But we also support others from the outside.”
Diome is also hoping to start cultural and health workshops soon to promote the Kanien’kéha language and culture.
“I am committed to supporting the continued learning of our language with the help of friends and Kanien’kéha teachers,” said Diome.
It took many years for Diome to decide to take the plunge and open her own business, even though many of her friends and family had been encouraging her the past decade.
“I didn’t feel ready until last year when this building became available for rent,” she said.
As for what the future holds for her shop, Diome plans to go online in the summer.
“I am building a solid foundation, and I think that we will have a great presence in Kahnawake and throughout our confederacy, and, once we go online, we are talking global, hopefully,” she said.
The Purple Dragonfly Trading Post is located on Highway 132 just past Magic Palace.