Local business creates hand sanitizer scents honoring Indigenous culture


A local company is dedicated to making a hand sanitizer that smells great, is safe to use, and also represents Indigenous culture.

Kanatan Health Solutions was launched in the Saddle Lake Cree Nation during the pandemic after hand sanitizer faced a lot of resistance from the Indigenous community.

Marketing and sales manager Tasha Power said the smell of generic hand sanitizer was a deterrent to many in the community and triggering for those struggling with alcoholism.

“It really put off a lot of our people, they don’t want to feel like they’ve just come out of a party,” Power said.

“We wanted to find a solution that smells good and is approved by Health Canada. “

They created a hand sanitizer in a variety of smells, including traditional smear scents like sweet grass, cedar, sage, and sweet tobacco.

“These don’t contain actual stains, but the smells are just like those stains. They’ll trigger those beautiful memories of the last time you smeared yourself with those specific scents.

The hand sanitizer is also available in berry and wild mint scents.

Power said it was very important for the company to make safe products with a minimum of ingredients that people would want to use on a daily basis.

“You can read the bottle and you can pronounce what [ingredient] It is because we put it on our body and especially on our skin that we want to make sure that it is safe and healthy and that it will help.

In addition to hand sanitizer, the company sells lotions, mask accessories, and Native-patterned, fabric, and disposable masks.

PPE available through Kanatan Health Solutions. June 16, 2021 (John Hanson / CTV News Edmonton)

“We really want to share our culture, we want to share the really beautiful smells that we have with our sacred forest stain scents and the really beautiful art on our masks,” said Power. “We want to share this with all cultures, not just First Nations. “

To encourage vaccine uptake, Powers says anyone who shows proof of their first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine can get two disposable masks and 100ml hand sanitizer for free with one purchase. $ 15.

Orders can be placed in line and can be delivered locally, picked up at their distribution center in Edmonton, or can be shipped via Canada Post.

Kanatan Health Solutions has sent products to 45 different First Nations communities across North America since the company was founded in July 2020.

Gladys T. Hensley

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