Curry with caribou: Budding entrepreneur honoured by Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Chantel Buffalo wants to open Cree-Laotian fusion restaurant in Saskatoon
If Chantel Buffalo gets her way, she'll be serving up bannock and ping kai any day now.
Buffalo is currently working towards opening a Cree-Laotian fusion restaurant in Saskatoon. Her mother is from Kawacatoose First Nation and her father was born in Laos.
I think I really started to believe in myself when I got to post-secondary.- Chantel Buffalo
"When I was really, really young, my dad would teach me about making authentically Laotian food, and my mom would teach me about her own cooking," she told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.
"So, I thought it would be a really unique idea to try and fuse the two."
Last year, Buffalo graduated from Saskatchewan Polytechnic's restaurant management diploma program. On Saturday night, she'll be awarded the school's President's Young Alumnus Partnership Award.
"I never thought that getting an award would be possible," she said. "I just thought I was going back to school for me."
Children inspiring entrepreneurship
With four children, she said going back to school was very difficult. However, Buffalo said her kids are a major reason why she wants to be successful.
"I knew one day I wanted to do something for them," she said. "I wanted them to be successful like me. I just didn't know how to do it."
The school is awarding Buffalo for her hard work in class, as well as becoming a role model for other students, providing advice and encouragement. She said she couldn't have succeeded without the help of the school's aboriginal advisers.
"I think I really started to believe in myself when I got to post-secondary," she said. "At first, it was a struggle, because I didn't think it was possible, but then you get the support. ... They said, 'Chantel, you can do it. Your ideas are great. Here's how you can do it.'"