Started in 1997, Up the Lake Trading Company is a part of Betty’s of Fort Frances, a four generation family owned and run business in Fort Frances, Ontario. We started Up the Lake to sell our own products that promote the culture of our brand, which reflects the rich outdoors, lake living and First Nations cultures of the area. We wanted to celebrate the place we love through various avenues of business.
To see more about Betty's, visit us at Betty's the Original.
Betty’s has been supplying First Nations regalia supplies for decades, even when the Indian Acts prohibited Indigenous traditions and ceremonies, including powwows. Much later an amendment was made that allowed First Nations people to continue their traditional ceremonies but until that time there were many who rebelled and practiced their culture anyway. Businesses were discouraged from selling materials to First Nations people for ceremonies. Betty Anderson was a dressmaker in Fort Frances who started her own store in 1937 and was one of the few providers of these supplies to First Nations people in our area.
Doug (co-owner and Betty’s grandson) tells of Betty’s hidden stash of satin ribbons that she kept for First Nations customers that made regalia. He recalls hearing stories that government employees came to the store to question why they were selling so much satin ribbon. Betty’s response was simply that she had friends who needed it. To this day some of our best and longest running customers are the same people who were buying regalia supplies from Betty back then.