A note from our editor: Endorsed sometimes uses affiliate links for products, and we may make a small commission (at no charge to the reader). For this story, we are not using any affiliate links and encourage shoppers to purchase directly from Indigenous retailers.
This piece was written on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Fans of Indigenous fusion food truck Mr. Bannock (helmed by popular chef Paul Natrall) can try to recreate his tasty recipes at home with the eponymous line of mixes, including Classic Bannock Mix (which comes with frying instructions), Mr. Bannoock Smoke Spice, and Mr. Bannock Cinnamon Brown Sugar Mix.
Twin sisters Dakota and Jesse Brant are the team behind Sapling and Flint sterling silver and gold jewelry, made in Ohswé:ken. There are so many beautiful pieces to choose from, like the 10-karat gold Birch Mini Studs available in rose gold, yellow gold and white gold. (A piece would make a much-appreciated holiday gift; they're made-to-order, so allow time for delivery.)
Sisters Sage make beautiful personal care and wellness products (read more about the three sisters here). It’s nearly impossible to choose one product, so we chose a bunch: Devil’s Club Salve, Pow Wow Soap, made with sweetgrass and sage essential oil, and the soothing Eucalyptus Bath Bomb. Both are at the top of our wish list.
It’s rare a clothing line can do athluxury as stylishly as red carpet gowns, but Temagami First Nation member Lesley Hampton's work is extraordinary on every level.
From magazine covers to the Oscars to the Emmys to Lizzo’s gym (she showed off her Forest Haze bra and leggings set on Instagram), Hampton’s line blends artistry and activism with size-inclusivity, sustainable, small batch and slow fashion, and community-minded partnerships, donations and mentorship. An entire wardrobe could be revamped with pieces like this stripe crew, very cool crop tees, chic accessories like this belt bag and stunning cocktail dresses (this green dress with ruffles and beaded cut-outs is a dream).
Kwakwaka’wakw Nation artist Jamie Gentry custom makes the most incredible hand-cut moccasins. These fit true to size with several detailed options (like fringe, height, weave, and soles); those with specific foot issues (like a high arch) can even send in a foot tracing. As Gentry is a busy artist and mother who completes the entire process — from cutting the hide to shipping — allow time for orders. (Pictured above are the Sand Buffalo Hide Wraps.)
Self-taught Ojibway artist Monique Derouin's beadwork is stunning, stylish and wholly unique. To secure a pair of the “Prada” fringe earrings or a custom floral fringe, DM her directly through Instagram. We first discovered her work at Indigenous Arts Centre, which was created in 2012 to “preserve and revitalize endangered Indigenous art forms and enrich lives through Indigenous arts and culture.” (Find more artists and learn more about their work at passthefeather.org.)
Massy Books is an independent and Indigenous-owned bookstore (founder Patricia Massy is Cree and a member of the As'in'i'wa'chi Ni'yaw Nation) that is a community gathering place and welcoming spot to spend the afternoon browsing. If getting there in person isn’t possible, it does offer online shopping. Their Instagram offers a selection of recommended titles, including Beyond the Orange Shirt, Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It, The Land We Are, When We Were Alone, Phyllis’s Orange Shirt, Pathways of Reconciliation, Genocidal Love: A Life After Residential School, Reconciliation in Practice: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, and Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Volume One.
Satya Organic Skin Care was born out of founder Patrice Mousseau’s search for a more natural treatment for her daughter’s eczema. The products are plant-based and free of steroids (a harsh but common prescriptor for inflamed skin) and formulated from five soothing organic ingredients. The line includes travel tins, calendula flower oat bath, and an Eczcema Easy Glide Stick made in partnership with the Plastic Bank.
Ethnobotanist Leigh Joseph’s (Styawat) from the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) First Nation is the founder of Sḵwálwen Botanicals, a skin care line formulated from wild plants that are harvested with honour and intention. Joseph then blends those plants with high-quality complementary products (like oils and clays) to create effective and soothing skin care, like Kalkáy Wild Rose Facial Oil and Shkweń Rainforest bath and body oil.
Bentwood boxes, a traditional First Nations People box used to store important items, is carved from a single piece of West Coast cedar. Indigenous-owned Spirit Work Limited sells a selection of these beautiful boxes, as well as other important works, like this vase by renowned Kwakwaka'wakw/Tlingit artist Corrine Hunt, sacred wooden Eagle Feather, and custom pieces, like boardroom furniture and display units for valuable Aboriginal work.
Since publishing this article, a number of readers from across the province have pointed to their favourite Indigenous-owned businesses. (Side note: Not everyone has online shopping available.)
- Angelique's Native Arts (335 Dominion St., Prince George)
- Green Jade Interiors (Steveston, Richmond)
Shop First Nations is a fantastic online resources with loads of local shops and services from all around BC. There's multiple categories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis businesses (like retail, hospitality, arts and culture) to support in your community.
Is there an Indigenous-owned business you can't stop raving about? Think they should be featured in Endorsed? Email me (Maria Tallarico) with all the details, at firstname.lastname@example.org.