Indigenous individuals throughout the United States and worldwide are not in any way unfamiliar with focusing on their well-being, which encompasses the mind, body, and spirit. In reality, many tribes possess a heritage of wellness and recuperation that is passed down from one generation to the next, according to We R Native, a health resource that concentrates on Native communities. Moreover, within numerous Indigenous cultures, the notion of health surpasses the mere absence of illness; it frequently involves maintaining a harmonious equilibrium in all aspects of life, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, while also displaying respect for the environment, as indicated by research.
Despite this longstanding recognition of holistic health, Indigenous individuals have often been overlooked within the wellness community, even though they are the ones credited for popular practices such as smudging. However, the act of burning sage for purification represents just one instance of the enormous influence that Native people have had on the predominantly Caucasian world of wellness. It is high time that they receive the recognition and support they rightfully deserve.
One way you can contribute to this effort is through being an aware consumer – and not just during the month of November (which, by the way, is Native American Heritage Month), but all year round. Whether you are looking to enhance your self-care routine, broaden your understanding of fitness, or sample some exceptionally fresh food, these Native-owned businesses possess exactly what you need.
Native American Tea Company
Courtesy of Native American Tea Company
Established in 1987 by a family belonging to the Turtle Mountain Chippewa tribe, the Native American Tea Company offers blends of herbal tea that boast entirely natural ingredients. Consider, for example, the company’s Good Medicine wellness tea (available for purchase at nativeamericantea.com), which is infused with spearmint, wood betony, and eucalyptus to provide a refreshing flavor that reportedly aids in nasal decongestion, even in the most stubborn cases.
Struggling to obtain some shut-eye? With its blend of peppermint, valerian root, and chamomile, Teepee Dreams (Purchase It, $5, nativeamericantea.com) could be precisely what you require for a night’s worth of zzzs.
Wellness for Tradition
Courtesy of Wellness for Tradition
Established by reporter Chelsey Luger and photographer Thosh Collins in 2014, Wellness for Tradition is a grassroots movement that aims to reclaim and rejuvenate Indigenous health and well-being. The brand offers a range of complimentary content on its website, including exercise videos and guides, enlightening materials on subjects like ancestral nourishment, and modern Indigenous dishes. But it doesn’t end there: The founding pair also produces a podcast (aptly titled Wellness for Tradition) and delivers in-person talks — all of which, along with their aforementioned digital offerings, delve into the Seven Circles of Wellness. Developed by Collins and Luger, the Seven Circles of Wellness serves as a comprehensive framework for overall well-being centered on traditional Indigenous customs.
Dawn’s Illuminating Kombucha
Courtesy of Dawn’s Illuminating Kombucha
By this point, you’ve probably already been informed about the potential advantages of kombucha, such as how the fermented beverage is enriched with healthy bacteria that can support a well-functioning digestive system. And if there’s anyone who understands this, it’s Melinda Williamson who, following an autoimmune disorder diagnosis, began following a diet abundant in fermented foods to enhance her digestive health and, consequently, lessen occurrences of symptoms and manage her condition. Therefore, when a companion shared a scoby (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast utilized for fermentation) with her, Williamson embarked on the journey of brewing her very own kombucha and eventually started her own brand of the drink a few years later. Today, Dawn’s Illuminating Kombucha offers four distinct flavors, including Beet Ginger Lime, Strawberry Basil, Ginger Limeade, and Blackberry Lemongrass (Purchase It, $40 for a variety pack of 12 cans, morninglightkombucha.com) — all of which incorporate ethically-sourced ingredients from local farmers in the brand’s home base of Kansas.
Courtesy of Sequoia
If igniting a candle is your concept of self-care, then look no further than Sequoia, an Indigenous- and woman-owned brand. With popular items such as the Skywoman Candle (Purchase It, $28, sequoiasoaps.com), which is infused with plumeria flowers and citrus, and the Three Sisters Candle (Purchase It, $28, sequoiasoaps.com), which has hints of pumpkin and cinnamon, you’ll immediately transform any space in your residence into a haven. Can’t decide on just one? Purchase the brand’s candle gift set to experience all of the fragrances the company offers. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to explore Sequoia’s bath products, lotions, lip balms, and more.
Courtesy of Tanka
Nourish your body with protein by indulging in Tanka Bars from Native American Natural Foods. Featuring bison as the primary ingredient, these convenient snacks are equally savory (observe: meat) and sweet (thanks to cranberries). Not only are they entirely natural, but all variations — which range in flavor from slow-smoked (Purchase It, $20 for six, amazon.com) to apple orange peel (Purchase It, $36 for 12, amazon.com) — are also exempt from gluten, dairy, and nuts.
And via a collaboration with Tanka Fund, the label supports Indigenous American farmers in setting up fresh bison ranches and maintaining current ones.
Courtesy of Eighth Generation
Whether it’s the midst of winter or a chilly summer day, there’s no superior method to remain warm than enveloping yourself by a cover, particularly when the cozy creation originates from Eighth Generation. Acknowledged for its collection of wool and cotton covers (Buy It, $92, eighthgeneration.com), the brand based in Seattle came into existence in 2008 by Louie Gong and is owned by the entire (!!) Snoqualmie Tribe. Apart from its distinct throws, the offerings of the company also encompass journals (Buy It, $24, eighthgeneration.com) for those who swear by the soothing influence of writing (which science says is legitimate, by the way) and luxurious towels (Buy It, $49, eighthgeneration.com) to dry oneself after a morning workout session of swimming laps. Since numerous “Native-inspired” products available undermine the real efforts of Indigenous individuals, Gong initiated the Inspired Natives Project in 2014 to present the work of artists and raise awareness regarding the significance of purchasing Native-made goods (such as those vended by Eighth Generation).
Courtesy of Seka Hills
From superior olive oil (Buy It, $29, shop.sekahills.com) and elderberry balsamic vinegar (Buy It, $13, shop.sekahills.com) to smooth almond butter (Buy It, $15, shop.sekahills.com) and wildflower nectar (Buy It, $11, shop.sekahills.com), the products of Séka Hills are precisely what your kitchen has been lacking.
Based in California, the company is not only devoted to disseminating the tastes of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, but it is also dedicated to instructing the subsequent cohorts on how to nurture their territory, which encompasses 16 diverse cultivations and more than 22,000 acres.
Courtesy of Mischievous Enterprise
Ever since its establishment as a sports equipment shop, the brand founded by siblings, Mischievous Enterprise, has consistently brought attention to the art of the Northwest Coast and the culture of Native Americans through its wide-ranging offerings that encompass various categories ranging from skateboards to stationery. Their section dedicated to athleisure is especially noteworthy. Within their store, you can discover flexible yet supportive crop tops (Purchase It, $33, trickstercompany.com) and bras, along with high-waisted leggings that showcase vibrant designs and patterns (Purchase It, $75, trickstercompany.com). (Adore a fantastic pair of patterned leggings? Then you absolutely must explore the ones from these Latinx-owned wellness brands.)
Courtesy of Indigenous Plants
Revitalize and purify the energy in your surroundings for an all-encompassing aura of positivity with Indigenous Plants’ curative spray, Liquid Smudge (Purchase It, $21, realnativebotanicals.com). This unique spray functions similarly to traditional smudging — a process that involves the combustion of herbs — without the presence of smoke. It incorporates peji hota or white sage, which, according to the brand, can purify your surroundings and cleanse the mind, body, and spirit. Established by a family of Oglala Lakota descent from South Dakota, the brand’s objective is to amalgamate Native American healing with contemporary medicine through the utilization of plants. Along with their sprays, you can also encounter pain-alleviating balms (Purchase It, $22, realnativebotanicals.com) as well as tinctures concocted with herbs, including those believed to soothe gastrointestinal discomfort (Purchase It, $25, realnativebotanicals.com)
And funds generated from their store assist in financing reforestation initiatives, allowing the Indigenous population in their locality to maintain their supply of these medicinal flora and botanicals.
We appreciate your input!