June marks Indigenous History Month in Canada—a time dear to our souls as Indigenous women and creators living in Alberta. Artistry, creation, and the act of sharing all run deep in our culture, and today, we would like to showcase fellow Canadian makers who proudly identify as Indigenous.
This Canadian Indigenous gift guide is by no means exhaustive. Still, we hope it demonstrates for you the creative spirit that thrives in Indigenous communities and forms an integral part of our cultural economy.
When you shop locally-made Indigenous products, you are choosing products that respect the environment, peoples, and traditions that make our communities strong. Our products at Jack59 bring our knowledge of stewardship into practice with goods that are as sustainable to the earth as they are for your skin and hair.
Thank you to all of the fantastic local Indigenous businesses that brighten our days, strengthen our souls, and promote our traditional low-impact ways of life.
From the Unceded Territories of the Skwxẃu7mesh (Squamish) First Nations People, Founder Leigh Joseph discovered the power in her family’s past.
Just as the process of botanical discovery and land rejuvenation empowered her to heal from intergenerational trauma and celebrate her cultural heritage, Sḵwálwen products offer incredible benefits to skin and hair. The ingredient roster is as diverse and unique as the Pacific Northwest that the ingredients are harvested from.
Their Facial Bars and Facial Serums pull deep from the land with wild rose and cranberry aromatics that compliment sweetgrass and sage toners.
With so much of Indigenous culture being passed down through tactile activities and oral traditions, classes that empower and educate younger generations can make all the difference in our communities.
TriSpirit Creations brings individual or group drum-building workshops to you—offering you the opportunity to craft a keepsake that will inspire, elevate, and uplift traditional music-making for a lifetime. Contact them via Facebook to arrange your personalized drum-building journey!
Soulflame Creative Services
As the professional and cultural landscape of Treaty 6 Territory recognized a need for balanced, engaging, and inclusive art from the Indigenous Community, it was creative leaders like Lance Cardinal who contributed their vision to new and old public spaces.
The name itself comes from Cree history:
“The Nehiyawak (Cree people) believe that when it’s time for a human being to be born into this world, their potential spirit makes the journey to the Creators Flame (manitow iksotew). The spirit chooses a tiny spark from the flame, and the Creator drops it into the soft spot of a newborn baby’s head. This gift is called the Soulflame. And that’s what Soulflame Creative Services is all about, taking a tiny spark of an idea and bringing it to its full potential!” - Soulflame Creative Services
Contact Soulflame Creative Services using the web form here to engage with Lance and his team.
With recipes built to bridge both Colonial-American and Indigenous tastes, Native Delights brings new meaning to food truck fare. Bannock Burgers, Native Tacos, and other goodies are all on the weekly menu. They move around quite a bit, so keeping up with their Facebook page is a great way to catch them near you and get your fix.
Fun fact: despite multiple tries and re-tries, owner Christopher ‘Ian’ Gladue’s custom-built food truck was the first 'Class C High-Risk Mobile Unit' to be recognized in the Province of Alberta!
When Ellie of Mahkesîs Creations first discovered land-based teaching during her time at University, she became hooked. The result of ensuing years of training is handmade jewellery and beadwork crafted in Treaty 6 Territory.
Ellie creates both contemporary designs and pieces featuring materials found in her traditional land. The entire catalogue is available to shop online!
There is a lot to love about the Indigenous cultures of Canada and how they have preserved, elevated, and shared the breadth of traditions and values that form Canada’s Indigenous identities. While so many more businesses could be highlighted, we recommend our Edmonton followers explore the City of Edmonton’s Indigenous History Month events and resources page.
Click above to see how hair, Indigenous culture, and the Jack59 team inform and learn from each other!
For this month and all others, support your local Indigenous creators. Better communities mean a better Earth, and for fans of great food, art, jewelry, and cosmetics—better skin, hair, and life! For more product information or to learn more about our commitment to Indigenous issues, please contact us, or visit us online.