Jenn Harper is Anishinaabe-Canadian and the founder of Cheekbone Beauty, helping Indigenous youth see themselves in a beauty brand while crafting sustainable cosmetics.
Let’s rethink our relationship with the environment and our community. We live in a world where individual benefit is more important than the well-being of our community and our environment. In Western culture, competition and accumulation are among highly celebrated drivers in Western behaviour. On the contrary, sustaining our people and sustaining our environment have been key drivers within our Indigenous communities for thousands of years. The main ingredient in Indigenous leadership is humility: it is horizontal and egalitarian, not hierarchical, and the term used by Indigenous people practicing well-being for our community is collectivism. With the realities of our climate emergency, a step in the right direction in order to help our partnership with nature is to practice this in the workplace. But first, it begins by changing our mindset.
To protect our planet and Indigenous knowledge, we can prioritize collective goals instead of focusing on our individual ones. Integrating Indigenous wisdom in our business models should be as relevant as the scientific facts and data that exist in everyday objectives and business decisions. Now, we can do our part to incorporate Indigenous wisdom in our current Western economic thinking, create a value system to benefit our community and the environment, switch our mindset and business models to ecological mode. Through the practice of integrating ancient design into our modern world, we can re-learn how to consume responsibly in order to leave enough for those who will come after.
Indigenous people are responsible for a quarter of the world’s land conservation and 80% of global diversity, yet only makeup about 5% of the population. As a Native beauty brand, while we can’t mimic nature completely, we can try our best. From our roots to your lips, and from our innate connection to land and water, we can re-emerge kindness, community, and compassion in our world!
Only take what you need.
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