Canada is home to over 50,000 Indigenous-owned businesses. As 99 per cent of those businesses are small or medium-sized enterprises, both local and broad support is needed to ensure Indigenous-owned businesses are sustainable and thriving.
Like many other small businesses, the pandemic has made things difficult. Indigenous businesses face additional challenges because of the lack of attention and access to resources pre-COVID. For instance, reliable, high-speed internet is not readily available in remote Indigenous communities, making it difficult for some businesses to sustain their ecommerce operations.
Awareness is the first step, and so we want to share with you 6 Indigenous-owned businesses in Canada that you can support right now.
Support these 6 Indigenous businesses
Being intentional about where you spend your money is important. In choosing to purchase from Indigenous-owned businesses, you show you care about supporting Indigenous arts and culture. Buying from Indigenous entrepreneurs can also be a form of reconciliation.
Here are 6 Indigenous businesses across Canada you can support:
Founded in 2016 by Jenn Harper Cheekbone Beauty is an Indigenous-owned, cruelty-free cosmetics company. Their goal is to establish a space for Indigenous people within the beauty industry and do good while they make you look good. Ten per cent of all proceeds go to a variety of causes, including Shannen’s Dream, a non-profit that works to close the education gap for Indigenous youth. Vegan options for many of their products are available and in keeping with the company’s Anishinaabe roots, Cheekbone Beauty launched a less-waste line of lipsticks called SUSTAIN (The Sustain Lipstick Bundle is one of their top sellers!).
Home base: St. Catherine’s, ON
The products from Yukon Soap Company are all handcrafted. Indigenous artisans are responsible for the beadwork in many of their products, which include shampoo bars and essential oils. Founder Joella Hogan never loses sight of her true mission of connecting people to the culture and land of the Yukon. She continues to build her community, involving elders and youth in her operation, along with hosting crafting workshops.
Home Base: Yukon, NWT
Satya is an Indigenous-owned health and beauty brand that has garnered a lot of attention for its effective skincare products. It all got started when Satya’s founder, Patrice, couldn’t find the right product to ease her daughter’s eczema. After trying different concoctions in her own kitchen, Patrice created a Health Canada approved product that can deliver on its claim of being a steroid free anti-inflammatory cream that is safe to use on the face and body.
Home base: Toronto, ON
Raven Reads uses a subscription model to deliver Indigenous stories directly to your home. They offer literature for both adults and children with a mix of giftware included in each box. Founder Nicole Mclaren hopes to “educate and inspire” her readers about the history of Indigenous people across North America. Mclaren see’s her role of education as a necessary step towards reconciliation.
Home base: Online
This fully owned Indigenous wellness brand creates its own traditional medicines. These medicines can be used for different types of healing, including pain relief, as well as rejuvenating bath salts, and teas to help with sleep. From candles to sprays to skin care creams, Sharing Mela’hma is bringing the foundations of Indigenous healings to the public.
Home base: Enderby, BC
While Spirit Babe only got started in June 2020, they were chosen as one of the 20 Indigenous-owned businesses to support across Canada. They create gemstones and bracelets by hand and are open to custom orders. Spirit Babe also has a clothing line with comfortable, quality pieces along with a vegan, cruelty-free skincare line. They’re building an active and engaged community that ships their products all across Canada.
Home base: Shelburne, ON
Now is the time to act
Indigenous communities have been damaged by unimaginable oppression for generations. Yet, they’ve remained resilient and are continuing to run successful businesses all across Canada. Choosing to support an Indigenous-owned business is just one way we can acknowledge their resilience. It’s also just a great way to try quality products from small businesses, which need local support more than ever.
Boomerang wishes to continue building our community while supporting individuals and businesses through hosting and partnership opportunities. Pursuing your hobbies or rediscovering your passions has never been easier. With Boomerang, older adults can register for over 250+ online workshops a month in areas of their interest. Express your creative side, learn to cook new dishes or get active in virtual yoga classes. Our online workshops are led by passionate hosts who help you explore your interests.