15 Indigenous-Made Gifts to Give This Holiday Season
Indulge your senses this holiday with unique, 100% Indigenous-made gifts by artisans from across Ontario!
Check off your holiday shopping list with everything from wild rice teas to candles with foraged ingredients and all-natural beauty products.
Anishinaabe sisters Valerie, Kathleen and Malinda founded Sister Bear to honour and reflect their heritage. Currently, their mother, numerous aunts and uncles, and some of their children help produce the company’s popular beadwork designs with a contemporary twist. Consider a pair of handcrafted beaded earrings, like the SquareTop Resilience Earrings, which are available at Thunder Bay’s new Goods & Co. Market.
Haudenosaunee traditional medicine healer, artist and feathersmith Rebecca Maracle makes stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces, including jewellery, woven wreaths, and dreamcatchers. Her Native Friendship Ornaments, which are glass orbs adorned with feathers and suspended with a deerskin strand, are a truly unique gift—and a perfect addition to a Christmas tree, or simply hung in front of a window year-round.
Beam Paints, which are now available coast-to-coast from Indigo and other retailers, are sourced from the land of Manitoulin Island by Anong Beam, an Ojibwe artist from M’Chigeeng First Nation. Her beautiful deerhide travel kits are ideal for the artist on the go. All the packaging is sustainable and plastic-free.
A pair of handmade moccasins is a gift sure to last a lifetime. And at the Whetung Ojibwa Centre, they’re available in an incredible array of colours and styles—from traditional, unadorned moosehide moccasins to fur-trimmed, beaded, calf-height mukluks—sure to appeal to anyone on your list. In fact, there’s such a variety, you might just end up finding the perfect pair for yourself…
Tis the season to hunker down, get cozy, and indulge in a little self-care. These handmade soaps and bath bombs, from Tyendinaga Mohawk artisan Lynn Wilson, are up to the task: in scents including sweet grass, sage and cedar (and many more – including candy cane!), they’re a sustainable, all-natural way to produce a soothing scentscape in your home.
Ten-year-old Mya, from Kitigan Zibi, makes these whimsical, beautiful, oh-so-trendy scrunchies, which can be purchased individually or—for the truly scrunchie-obsessed—in a pack of 10.
This Indigenous-owned tea company, which is located on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg Peoples in Northwestern Ontario, crafts unparalleled roasted wild rice and tea blends. Their ManoominCha, the signature blend, is a combination of roasted wild rice and green tea; for an uncaffeinated, soothing brew, the herbal lemon ginger blend is not only delicious, but can help soothe sore winter throats.
Chippewar’s unique graphic streetwear comes from artist and designer Jay Soule, of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation (Deshkaan Ziibing Anishinaabeg). His designs remind us of the importance of the traditional warrior role in Indigenous cultures across North America. Chippewar’s Matriarchs on Mars sweatshirt is a nod to matriarchal culture—on planet earth and beyond.
Chef Tammy Maki’s stunning chocolates and confections are made using traditional Indigenous ingredients sourced from Indigenous people and businesses. She donates a portion of proceeds from the sale of these hand-painted, limited edition sweets to the Indian Residential Survivors School Society. A Chocolate Membership, which includes a 12-piece box of chocolates delivered every month for three months, is a perfect pick for chocolate-lovers.
If the sweet-toothed friend or family member on your list isn’t a chocolate fan, Ziibaakdakaan (which means “sugar bush” in Ojibwe) produces delicious, deep amber maple syrup, tapped from forests nestled between high limestone bluffs on the eastern shore of Bruce Peninsula, Cape Croker Park.
And, if your maple syrup-loving friend is a true maple fanatic, why not throw in some maple butter from Giizhigat Maple Products for good measure? (The company also makes fresh maple candies, which are excellent stocking stuffers.) Learn more about the makers behind Giizhigat here.
Whether this gorgeous ceramic set is used for veggies and dip, nachos and salsa, or simply as a striking coffee-table centrepiece, it’s sure to delight the party host on your list.
For the sustainable beauty buff, Cheekbone Beauty’s lip kit includes a lipstick, lip pencil and gloss in a fiery blue-red. This Anishinaabe-owned beauty company, founded in 2016, launched the Sustain line in 2020 in an effort to reduce the waste created by their packaging.
This company, founded by Mohawk artisan Taylor Parker, includes foraged and wildcrafted ingredients in all of their hand-poured small-batch candles. The Woods candle, which is a warm blend of cedar and sandalwood, is a perfectly wintery pick.
Whether they’re applied to a computer, cellphone, fridge—or, really, wherever!—these Indigenous-designed decals from Native Renaissance add a beautiful punch of Indigenous artistry to any surface. Several designs are available to choose from.