ENTREPRENEUR LYNN-MARIE ANGUS ON WORKING WITH HER SISTER AND SHARING INDIGENOUS MEDICINES
Best Health|October/November 2021
Business origin stories tend to follow a predictable formula: Someone encounters a need in the market and creates a new product or service to fill it.
ANDREA YU

But for sisters Lynn-Marie (pictured far left) and Melissa-Rae Angus (pictured left), their wellness brand, Sisters Sage, emerged from the need to become self-sufficient. “We didn’t have the education or training, or an idea or a want to be business owners,” Lynn-Marie says. In the summer of 2018, both sisters were in tough spots—LynnMarie was in a toxic work environment, and Melissa-Rae was pregnant and facing homelessness. The two women thought about what they had to offer, which was a knowledge of and an interest in Indigenous medicines and wellness. They developed a line of handmade soaps and bath bombs inspired by Indigenous traditions. And from there, Sisters Sage was born.

“Being an entrepreneur is a natural thing for Indigenous folks, who are the original entrepreneurs of Turtle Island,” LynnMarie says. “A huge mission for Sisters Sage is to promote, inspire and motivate other Indigenous women and youth to define their own financial futures through Indigenous business.” Here’s how LynnMarie describes the origin and evolution of Sisters Sage.

What are some of your earliest memories of Indigenous medicines?

When I was growing up, my mom and dad would do a daily smudging with braided sweetgrass or sage. Smudging is a spiritual ceremony that can be performed daily or whenever the person feels drawn or called to it. Burning these medicines cleanses our environment, our body, and our spirits. We say our prayers and send them on the smoke up to the creator. I learned that medicines are traded, gifted or harvested for yourself. They’re never sold.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Vancouver in 1984, and my sister, Melissa-Rae, was born a year later. Our mom is Cree-Métis, and she’s from the Prairies, near Winnipeg. Our dad is Gitxaala and Nisga’a from the northwest of British Columbia. It was important for our parents to keep us connected to both sides of our family, so together we lived in Winnipeg, Prince Rupert, B.C., and Vancouver. Indigenous folks across Turtle Island are not a homogenized group of people. We’re different nations and different people with different languages, cultures, foods, and legends.

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