We blend our Aboriginal knowledge and traditions with the finest ingredients to share the luxury of our products and our culture.
We are proudly Aboriginal owned. We look to our culture and our traditions to guide our business and incorporate traditional Aboriginal ingredients to create products that honour and promote our beautiful culture, respect Mother Earth, nurture the human body and inspire the human spirit.
Based on Traditional Aboriginal Plants
Mother Earth Essentials was founded by Carrie Langevin who comes from a long line of Cree Medicine women. Her passion is sharing Aboriginal culture and the vehicle for her message is her products. Carrie has based her company on traditional Aboriginal teachings and a philosophy steeped in respect and honor for the environment and the beautiful plants used in her luxurious bath, body and beauty line.
Carrie blends the finest essential oils, berries, medicinal, and ceremonial plants that Mother Earth provides with the teachings she learned as a young girl.
“I remember gathering plants and berries with my Grandmother while she shared her stories and her deep understanding of traditional plants and their uses,” says Carrie. “My grandmother healed us with her medicinal plants – everything from pink eye, sore throats, stomach ailments, aches and pains, and infections. She’d make us these beautiful, healing teas,” she says.
Carrie started to realize that, overall, there is a lack of awareness about the significant contributions Aboriginal people have made in the areas of plants and their medicinal uses. The pharmaceutical industry currently uses over 200 plants traditionally used by Aboriginal people for thousands of years. Yet, Carrie realized from 15 years of experience in the cosmetic industry, there were no products created from Aboriginal knowledge.
Rooted in Aboriginal Culture
Medicinal plants uses and traditional ceremonies were a part of her culture that Carrie almost missed out on.
Carrie’s mom and two sisters were taken away from their home and put into a residential school. From then on Carrie says there was a shame around being native and her grandmother didn’t even want her grandchildren to acknowledge her in public – “she thought it would be easier for us if no one knew she was our grandmother,” says Carrie. “But she became the beautiful, radiant woman when she was in nature and deeply connected to Mother Earth and our beautiful culture and spirituality.”
It is this deep cultural connection that Carrie is eager to share with everyone. She remembers vividly how easy it is to misunderstand when you don’t know the ceremonies and culture. She encountered it firsthand, in herself, when she was a teacher in an Aboriginal school and realized she, herself, was missing out on her own connection to traditions.
“I was walking down the hallway of a school where some of the kids were really tough and I was carrying with me a lot of mistaken impressions even though I am Aboriginal,” says Carrie. “I saw a group of boys huddled together under the stairwell and smoke was rising up from the group. I was ready to bust them,” she says. “I got closer and realized they were bent over sweetgrass in a smudging ceremony – they were all praying.”
“It’s easy to judge. But even more important, it’s easy to miss out on the beauty of Aboriginal culture and ceremonies when you don’t understand them. My mission is to spread awareness and appreciation. My vehicle for this message is Mother Earth Essentials. Every one of our products has a description of the traditional Aboriginal ingredients and their use. It’s a start. And we are just beginning,” says Carrie.
Grounded in Traditional Spa and Cosmetology
Carrie began her career wanting to learn about natural skin care. Her goal was to open her own spa and, after graduating from cosmetology school, she started working at the Sawridge Spa, a hotel chain throughout Alberta owned by the Sawridge Indian band.
Ironically, the Sawridge became Carrie’s first hotel amenity client after she launched Mother Earth Essentials. The Peppermint Sage hotel line up is extremely popular and is now carried in seven hotel chains and raved about on Facebook regularly. Beyond the hotel amenity product line, Carrie makes a custom product for the Sawridge hotel – it’s a mini cedar balsam spray that is their signature scent and widely used as their marketing giveaway.
Medicinal Gardens Spark Cultural Pride
Carrie worked in all aspects of the cosmetics industry over 15 years – in spas, in salon sales, in department store cosmetics, and merchandising. But something was missing so she went back to school and got an Education degree.
Carrie’s first teaching job was at an Aboriginal high school. “I really felt my grandmother’s hand guiding me there,” says Carrie. “I had been disconnected from my Aboriginal traditions and roots. It was at the school that I learned more about my own community and our traditions and rekindled my own cultural pride. I could related to each and every one of the students,” she says.
As a teacher for 15 years, Carrie started educating students about the medicinal properties of plants. The students started caring for the traditional garden on-site at their school, learning about the plants and doing hands-on activities like making teas and mineral baths.
“I saw a spark of pride as I taught students about Aboriginal botanicals and inspired them to connect with their rich culture,” says Carrie. Mother Earth Essentials became the creative outlet that let Carrie blend her passion for nature and the preservation of Aboriginal practices into her work.
“I saw the first spark with my students but it didn't stop in the classroom. I have seen the same appreciation and interest as I share teachings and traditions with non-native professionals during lunch hour workshops and shoppers as they browsed handmade products in my store,” says Carrie. “I wanted to bring beautiful scents such as sweetgrass, sage, wild mint, wild rose, berries, and cedar to the general public,” she says.
And so….Mother Earth Essentials was born.