Our Shop First Nations team loves to buy from Indigenous brands, especially during the holiday season. That’s why we curated this list of Indigenous-owned businesses from the Lower Mainland for your holiday gift giving (especially those of you doing so last minute!).
Are you looking for jewelry or beauty products? What about coffee, craft beer or cannabis? For most of the goods and services you need, there’s an Indigenous brand you could be supporting. Our list is by no means a ranking. It’s just eight companies we’ve come across that we think you might like.
By supporting any of these companies below (or any of the 50,000+ Indigenous companies across Canada) you are directly participating in the rejuvenation of Indigenous trade and commerce that existed for thousands of years on these ancient traditional territories.
Need a bunch of small gifts in a hurry? Check out our 2021 Indigenous Coastal Gift Box, which includes 10 authentic products curated by our Shop First Nations team of Indigenous business, tech and marketing pros. We have very limited supplies of the gift box left so order yours today for delivery or pick-up in Port Coquitlam.
Okay, let’s introduce you to some awesome Indigenous brands to support this holiday season!
Our Indigenous Gift Guide for 2021!
1) Indigenous gift for coffee lovers: Spirit Bear Coffee Company
Stories from the old days tell us that Raven was sent by the creator of the universe, to redesign the earth after the first great ice age of cleansing. After Mother Earth added the foliage, Raven made all the new animals big and small. His final touch was the Spirit Bear — a symbolic message to all creatures of the earth to maintain peace and harmony.
Inspired by this story, Spirit Bear Coffee Company was born. Based on Kwikwetlem territory in Port Coquitlam, their products can be found in over 600 stores across Canada. The Spirit Bear Coffee mission is to deliver an exceptional coffee experience and to support First Nations communities and organizations through fund-raising programs, donations and partnerships.
2) Indigenous craft beer gift: Ravens Brewing
Inspired by the agricultural roots surrounding the Abbotsford area, Ravens Brewing makes West Coast and European-style beers. Abbotsford sits on the lands of the Matsqui First Nation and Sumas First Nation, members of the broader Stό:lō Nation that stretches from Yale in the Fraser Canyon to Fort Langley.
Stό:lō in Halq’eméylem translates as “river”. It’s part of this deep connection and respect for the land and waters that ground Ravens Brewing in their company values. Their commitment to working with their neighbours in using locally sourced ingredients created the Ground to Glass series. Each of the series beers feature ingredients grown within the Fraser Valley.
3) Bannock gift: Bangin Bannock
It can’t be an Indigenous list without bannock, our beloved fry bread! Bangin’ Bannock is an Indigenous-owned business in Vancouver on the traditional unceded territory of the Coast Salish People of Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Musqueam. It’s run by two Indigenous women who share a passion for inspiring future generations to flourish and be proud of their culture and identity.
Bangin’ Bannock offers bannock dry mix, enough for eight servings per bag. They include instructions on how to make it yourself, as well as special tips and recipes for extra real deady bannock. All you have to do is supply the water for mixing and oil for frying! Bangin’ Bannock donates 10% of profits each month to various community causes and organizations they care about.
4) Health & wellbeing gift: Great Bear Rainforest Essential Oils
Great Bear Rainforest® Essential Oils is a social enterprise located in Bella Bella, BC. It’s supported by the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative — a non-profit society and alliance of eight First Nations on BC’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii. The Great Bear Rainforest received official protection from resource extraction in 2017 thanks to the efforts of the regional First Nations.
The essential oils are carefully steam-distilled from fresh, sustainably harvested conifer needles gathered in the Great Bear Rainforest region, one of the largest unspoiled temperate rainforests left in the world. It is home to a diversity of species including cougars, wolves, salmon, grizzlies, black bears, spirit bear (a rare form of black bear), as well as 1,000 year old cedar trees. It’s roughly the size of Ireland.
5) Indigenous carpentry fans: Flying Horse Woodworking
Flying Horse Woodworking is a grassroots Vancouver-based business specializing in custom wood tables and other wood products such as cutting boards, charcuterie boards, shelves, wine bottle holders and more. It’s proudly owned and operated by an entrepreneur from the Denesuline First Nations. The Denesuline, or Dene, people occupy territory in northern Saskatchewan from Lake Athabasca in the west to Wollaston Lake in the east.
6) Indigenous foodie gift: Sriracha Revolver Hot Sauce
Sriracha Revolver Hot Sauce Inc was founded in 2017 by Indigenous mother, wife and entrepreneur Jordan Hocking. Based in Vancouver, Jordan is passionate about building community and sharing culture through food. All her hot sauce recipes have been inspired by flavours or ingredients she has enjoyed while traveling or by wanting to eat something that didn’t exist anywhere else.
7) Health gift: White Buffalo Traditional Medicine
Based in Coquitlam, White Buffalo is an Indigenous company with interests in healing the Body, Mind and Spirit through natural hemp products. They strive to help optimize health and wellness in those suffering from various diseases and conditions, and also in those who wish to prevent certain illnesses and maintain a balanced lifestyle.
8) Indigenous food truck treats : Mr. Bannock
We just had to include one more local bannock brand! Mr. Bannock is a fully owned and operated Indigenous business from the Squamish Nation. They take pride in sharing Indigenous-fusion cuisine, using traditional ingredients such as juniper berries, smoked wild salmon and meats — and traditional methods, such as clay and stone baking. Get their mixes delivered anywhere in Canada or pick-up locally in North Vancouver.
As a special treat or gift for the holidays, Mr. Bannock Chocolate bark is a must try! The finest Belgian chocolate with dried berries and maple roasted almonds makes for a perfect holiday treat!