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Main Connect News Indigenous Business Of The Week: Skwalwen Botanicals

Indigenous Business Of The Week: Skwalwen Botanicals

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

About Sḵwálwen Botanicals


Vancouver Career College is pleased to share that we are partnering with Sḵwálwen Botanicals, an Indigenous-owned skincare brand. Sḵwálwen (skwall - win) is known for creating high-quality skincare products that honour cultural knowledge, Indigenous plant science, and self-care.


Their Products


From sweet grass, sage, and rose toner to restorative shea butter hand balm and a cranberry facial bar, each batch of Sḵwálwen products is made with care and intention, bringing you luxurious skincare products free from harsh chemicals, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colours and parabens. Their wild plant ingredients are harvested in a respectful way, and each product has a Squamish name to honour the place where this plant knowledge comes from.


Meet the Founder


Founded by ethnobotanist Leigh Joseph of Squamish First Nation, whose ancestral name is Styawat, Sḵwálwen provides gentle and effective skincare products that draw from the ceremonial aspects of plants. They incorporate sustainably harvested and sourced botanicals, nourishing plant-derived butters, and organic oils. Sḵwálwen Botanicals unites ancestral traditions with modern beauty rituals, empowering people to connect to themselves and the natural world.


"One of the most powerful ways I have found to connect to culture and community has been through learning from and working with Indigenous plants. My family history has shaped who I am. As a mother of two young children, I am aware of how my work with plants can offer them a connection to the land and to our traditional Squamish knowledge." - Leigh Joseph, Founder of Sḵwálwen Botanicals.


As an ethnobotanist, researcher and community activist, Leigh aims to contribute to cultural knowledge renewal in connection to Indigenous plant foods and medicines. Wherever possible Leigh draws on teachings learned from family and community members that are connected to Indigenous plants and the land.


Sḵwálwen Botanicals has appeared in multiple popular media sources, including Huff Post, Flare Magazine, Elle Canada, Scout Magazine, enRoute Magazine, and Boulevard Magazine, to name a few.


Indigenous Culture Recognition


Leigh shared what she is most proud about from her culture.


"I am most proud about the depth of connection, knowledge, and relationship to the natural world that is foundational to Squamish culture. Being in a relationship with the land through plants has helped me find a path to strengthening identity and finding meaningful ways to contribute to cultural knowledge renewal. It also reminds us that we are part of our natural surroundings and not separate from them. We rely on healthy ecosystems and we have a responsibility to uphold them," Leigh says.


Vancouver Career College actively supports Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs as part of truth and reconciliation in BC and across Canada. Learn more and shop Sḵwálwen Botanicals’ organic and natural collections here.

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