Coming from a long line of Cree medicine women, Carrie Armstrong is strong in her relationship with traditional plants.
“The knowledge I have comes from my grandmother, elders and medicine people,” says Armstrong.
When she started her first teaching job at the Amiskwaciy Academy, Armstrong realized that it was both her honour and responsibility to share the nature-inspired teachings rooted in the plants of the Medicine Wheel. With experience in the beauty and cosmetic industry, Armstrong decided to open Mother Earth Essentials, a bath and body business.
The shop features handmade soap and soy candles, essential oils, lotions and body wash, hair care and spray mists.
For Armstrong, owning a business that connects to her identity means she has stories to tell and knowledge to share. Apart from producing natural products using indigenous plants like sweetgrass, tobacco and cedar, Armstrong also provides traditional plants workshops where she shares recipes and history of the Medicine Wheel.
“I try to make the workshops as soothing as possible. You’d brew your own blend of tea at the Traditional Tea Workshop,” says Armstrong. “Overall, it’s about letting you be familiar with plant knowledge and experience.”