Saskatoon

Saskatoon kids run lemonade stand for new powwow regalia

Ashayna Assiniboine, 11, and Justin Assiniboine,10, have been running a lemonade stand on Avenue H in Saskatoon to fundraise for beaded leggings and moccasins.

Ashayna and Justin Assiniboine have already made about $400

Not only are Ashayna and Justin selling lemonade, they also have water, chips and cookies. ( Leisha Grebinski/CBC)

Sell lemonade. Buy moccasins.

That's the mantra two young cousins are following this summer as they try to raise money for new powwow regalia.

Since early July, Ashayna and Justin Assiniboine —10 and 11-years-old, respectively — have been running a lemonade stand on Avenue H in Saskatoon to fundraise for beaded leggings and moccasins.

Ashayna says her current leggings and moccasins are too big and the beads are falling off, whereas Justin says his moccasins are "starting to talk" — meaning they have split open. 

The duo says dancing is "really, really important" to them.

"It keeps our culture alive," said Justin.

Ashayna Assiniboine, 11, and Justin Assiniboine,10, are running a lemonade stand on Avenue H in Saskatoon to raise money for beaded leggings and moccasins. ( Leisha Grebinski/CBC)

An officer with Saskatoon police recently took notice of the stand and has set up a collection for them at the police station.

In her 17 years of police work, Sgt. Tonya Gresty says she has visited many lemonade stands but said Ashayna made this particular one stand out. Gresty said the 10-year-old was able to communicate a really clear goal for her age.

"It just kind of hit home that it was really special to her and the demonstration of how willing she was to work hard to meet her goals," she said. "It's people like that, that make Saskatoon such a great community."

Gresty says she makes it a priority to find positive interactions such as this one.

"It's what keeps me going in a career that can be negative at times," she said.

"I collect these positive stories and keep them close to me when we're facing challenging times."

Sgt. Tonya Gresty from Saskatoon police noticed the stand and set up a collection at the police station. (Submitted by Ashayna Assiniboine)

Not only are Ashayna and Justin selling lemonade, they also have water, chips and cookies.

It hasn't always been a sweet experience though.

Ashayna says the heat has sometimes gotten to her, as temperatures reached over 30 C on multiple occasions during July in Saskatoon.

Justin says the heat hasn't bothered him too much, but it can sometimes get boring when business is slow. 

Luckily, they have a deck of cards and toy dinosaurs to keep them occupied.

The kids say their stand has brought in about $400 so far and a single pair of moccasins can cost about $500.