Nathalie Coutou was born on a farm with a kennel of over 800 sled dogs in the province of Quebec. As a child she was given the freedom to explore her imagination and was inspired by her French-European father’s artistry alongside her mother’s enduring joy and Mi’kmaq ancestry. Painting and sketching soon became her way to express herself.
In her early 20’s she was blessed to reconnect with her Indigenous heritage through the teachings of Mi’kmaq Elder Stephen Augustine. This began her inspiration to promote a spirit of inclusiveness and reconciliation to further nurture more understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
Two of her children, who are Oji-Cree from Red Sucker Lake (Treaty 5 territory), were her inspiration to create KHEWA, a Gallery-Boutique where nothing is made overseas. Her hope was for KHEWA to be a place where her children could always be proud of their Indigenous heritage. Since this time, she has been creating alliances between Indigenous, Métis, Inuit artists and Canadian partners to promote Indigenous culture. In her Gallery-Boutique, she narrates ancestral stories, provides art workshops, and facilitates educational events on various cross-cultural realities.
As a graphic arts graduate and alongside her entrepreneurial career, Nathalie was involved in many projects. For eight years, in the heart of her village, she organized the “Wakefield Harvest Festival”, an event bringing together thousands of people to celebrate the harvest with the spirit of thankfulness.