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Celebrate Indigenous History with 9 Canadian Indigenous-Owned Brands

From apparel to food, enlighten your senses with these incredibly impactful brands and stories that cultivate and preserve Indigenous heritage.

Although we are celebrating National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day from home once again, the spirit of the celebration holds true. The month of June is a time for all Canadians to acknowledge, share and educate one another of rich and diverse cultures, voices, sacrifices and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. You can help empower and preserve the traditions, history, and culture of Indigenous ancestry and lands year-round by supporting Indigenous business owners and entrepreneurs. As we include a few of many incredible Indigenous brands across the country, not only are you supporting the families of these people, but are helping support the economic development of Native communities that need it most!

 

 KOKUM SCRUNCHIES

Throw your hair in a Kokom scrunchie, smudge, drink your tea & handle it.

Kokom Scrunchies was created by a talented 10 year-old from Kitigan Zibi. The talented Mya Beaudry makes sure that all Kokom Scrunchies are handmade with love. The name came from her love for scrunchies and kokom scarves (kokum meaning grandmother in Cree, these scarves symbolize resilience and are an important staple for Indigenous grandmothers). On a mission to bring Kokom Scrunchies to everyone, young and old, Mya won 3rd place at the 2020 Pow Wow Pitch by crafting her scrunchies as a way to honour inspirational Indigenous women!

 

SHENATIVE

Leather goods & apparel dedicated to elevating our women & girls.

Nationhood is knowing who you are and where you come from, and SheNative exists to make sure you know that. Through leather crafts and apparel, SheNative uses teachings from Indigenous Nationhood to inspire inner strength and confidence for all women. Actively empowering and sharing the perspectives of local, national and international Indigenous female changemakers, 2% of revenues go toward causes that positively impact the lives of Indigenous women. Check out the new Gratitude Collection (SNXHOD) in collaboration with Helen Oro Designs and Tori-Lynn Wanotch as they showcase a unique integration of their traditional roots and modern design techniques while expressing their gratitude as they continue to work in fashion in the midst of adversity and economic challenges of Indigenous women entrepreneurs, artists and designers.

 

SCOTT WABANO

My Existence is the Resistance.

As a face for Cheekbone Beauty’s SUSTAIN Eyes launch earlier this year, Scott Wabano is a 2Spirit Eeyou Freelance Fashion Stylist from Toronto, Ontario. Growing up in the Moose Cree First Nation territory, Scott spent much of his adolescence amongst the isolated Indigenous communities on the coast of James Bay. Struggling with identity and lack of Indigenous representation in pop culture, Scott desired for change. Growing fondly of the fashion industry, he made the difficult decision to leave home in order to pursue their goals while creating safe space for 2Spirit/IndigiQueer Youth. As a graduate from Fashion Arts & Business, Scott led the styling team for Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto 2020 and the National Indigenous History Month 2021 Campaign for SEPHORA Canada! Check out the debut of his fashion line WABANO with the launch of The OFFiCial Collection”, which features an exclusive HAMPTON x WABANO Jacket.

 

LESLEY HAMPTON

Shaping the Canadian fashion landscape.

Founded in 2016, LESLEY HAMPTON is an Indigenous-owned, women-led and size-inclusive Canadian clothing brand based in Toronto, Ontario! Decolonizing the euro-centric standards in the fashion industry once piece at a time, she enjoys designing a variety of couture from high quality eveningwear to atheleticwear. This year, Lesley won the title of this year’s Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards Fashion Impact Award. 10% of sales from her newly released The Aurora Collection are donated to the Matriarch Movement with a mission to inspire the next decade of entrepreneurs and increasing Indigenous representation in the fashion, film, and media space.

 

RAVEN READS

Indigenous literature and giftware delivered to your door!

What does reconciliation mean, and what role can we play in this? Raven Reads was born from a desire to educate others surrounding the devastating truth and impact of residential schools on Indigenous people in Canada. With over 150,000 Indigenous children attending residential school, many never returned. To help strengthen the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, founder Nicole McLaren started a book club as a place to not only share incredible books celebrating culture and art, but to open a dialogue as well.

 

BIRCH BARK COFFEE COMPANY

Coffee that makes a difference.

A small social enterprise that is innovating the coffee industry. Established in 2018, Birch Bark Coffee Company serves organic, Fair Trade coffee that is SPP (The acronym of the Spanish name Simbolo de Pequeños Productores) certified. While coffee beans are grown and produced by farmers of Indigenous descendants, Birch Bark is a cause-driven company to help Indigenous families across Canada impacted by poor water conditions. You can enjoy a cup of Birch Bark across a number of retail locations in Ontario or order from their online store. Try their Summer Solstice Dark Roast!

 

MINI TIPI

Inspired by culture & beautiful textiles.

A must-have accessory for every family. Founded in 2016, MINI TIPI is Canadian women-owned company by Trisha Pitura and Mélanie Bernard with a passion to produce stylish yet equally practical designs that carry forward their proud Canadian and Indigenous heritage. The company believes in sharing resources to benefit and support the community through donation to local food banks and Indigenous women crisis centers such as the Minwaashin Lodge and the Turtle Island Initiative. All items are designed, cut and sewn in Quebec, Canada.

 

INDIGENOUS WORLD WINERY

The taste of modern culture and Indigenous history.

Discover a winery made to produce world class wines in respect to the environment and its people. It all started as founders Robert Louie and wife Bernice wanting to find a way to combine the unique terroir of the valley and the Indigenous peoples stewardship of these lands. Located in British Columbia, the Indigenous first peoples of the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys shape the Okanagan Syilx people. Having lived on and protecting these lands for thousands of years, Robert and Bernice find themselves deeply connected to the land and its rich history as descendants of the Syilx people. When you taste an Indigenous World wine, you are tasting fruit from the land that has supported the Syilx people for over 10,000 years!

 

SALMON N' BANNOCK

Feed your spirit.

Hungry? Let this restaurant take you out to new waters. Salmon n’ Bannock is Vancouver's only Indigenous-owned and operated restaurant! Located at 1128 West Broadway, this bistro proudly serves authentic nationwide delights while integrating the traditional ingredients derived from their Grandmothers and Grandfathers. Check out their unique menu here (we’re eyeing that Boozy Sundae) or order online via the UberEats app. Enjoy the simple pleasures of fresh ingredients, certified organic game and distinct flavours of Indigenous cuisine.

 

 

Love,

The team at Cheekbone Beauty

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