Indigenous peoples have held many customs that kept them deeply connected to the Earth. Many Nations (most commonly used word in Canada) and tribes (most commonly used word in the United States) view each member as a steward of the Earth and subscribe to the belief that if they care for the Earth, She will care for them.
Supporting Indigenous Businesses is just one of the categories that I take into consideration with regards to my purchase decisions. Please refer to my Sustainable and Ethical Shopping Guide to learn of other important and impactful aspects that can guide your shopping choices.
To this day there are many Indigenous communities that courageously step up to large corporations and DEMAND better practices for the care of the Earth. There are many Indigenous communities who rally together in numbers to peacefully protest unjust environmental practices that endanger wildlife, food supply, and clean water everywhere. These communities fight for the right to make their own decisions, have their own land sovereignty and to stop the Government, RCMP and Corporations from ENFORCING land use on their sacred spaces.
While there are many Indigenous communities fighting for policy changes and the rights to govern their land their way, many also experience poverty, with contaminated water and are treated poorly in white health care and social systems. Many Nations and tribes are faced with decisions on how to generate resources to feel sustainable without losing traditional customs, ceremonies, and traditional craftsmanship.
Financial resources are needed to support Indigenous businesses and teaching ventures.
We can help support Indigenous artists, craft makers and businesses by looking to see what they offer first. We MUST seek them, they typically do not have the resources many large corporations have to market their products.
Try searching #indigenousfirst #indigenousbusiness #indigenousbusinessess on social media.
Reach out to local reserves and Friendship Centres asking how you can shop safely to support their community. Buy from Indigenous brands online especially in the case of moccasins, mukluks, dream catchers, smudge and Indigenous art and beadwork.
You can also consider donating to RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs). RAVEN is the only non-profit charitable organization in Canada that uses the power of the crowd to fund access to justice for Indigenous Peoples. When successful, the legal actions of RAVEN’s Indigenous partners set precedents for future cases and advance legal rights and title. They also create significant environmental benefits.
Supporting Indigenous-led initiatives is an effective way to curtail unsustainable industrial development and drive systemic change, as a gift that gives back for generations to come.