by Jake Cardinal
(ANNews) – A Saddle Lake business known as Kanatan Health Solutions has created hand sanitizers that smell like sage, cedar, and sweetgrass.
The “Indigenous Focused PPE Products are designed and formulated with Indigenous People’s unique culture and arts in mind,” reads the company website.
Four of the founders: Leah Redcrow, Sheila Redcrow, LaDawn Redcrow, and Tasha Power described Kanatan’s origins.
When Kanatan Health Solutions started, it was not a business, they explained. It began as a way to keep family safe.
Leah Redcrow said, “I made sanitizer for my parents during the time when there was no hand sanitizer readily available. My parents only had a tiny little bottle of sanitizer and they couldn’t get any more. So I got really worried about them.
“I decided to do different studies on different hand sanitizers and for about a month I studied different chemical compositions. But when it came to actually formulating something they would want to use.”
Leah needed to get rid of the alcohol smell, she said, “because my parents aren’t drinkers and they don’t like the smell of alcohol. So, then I decided to formulate one that had sweet grass essential oil in it – I also made one that had cedar and sage.
“I had protecting them in mind and I wanted to make something that they would want to use.”
Then after letting her family know, Leah sat down with her sister Jessie, who is a clinical health professional and is an “avid user of sanitizer, even before COVID started.” After their discussions, it was decided that the sanitizer should be tested.
“She did a ‘soft launch’ at her work place to see if the health professionals would like it. And I had a very small amount, something like 20 bottles, and they bought it all within 20 minutes. Then we applied to become a business entity, got our licensing and approval from Health Canada on June 22, 2020 and here we are.”
The sanitizers are measured to include a total of 75% Isopropyl Alcohol and include all-natural plant based moisturizers and locally sourced essential oils.
“We don’t use ethyl alcohol because it’s a grain alcohol – and alcohol and smudge don’t mix. So we use the isopropyl alcohol, which is a more expensive medical ingredient than ethyl alcohol,” Leah explained. The sanitizers also contain skin moisturizer so that it won’t make your skin coarse.
Kanatan Health Solutions are working hard on launching more products such as: disinfectant wipes, face shields and fresh sweet tobacco scented hand sanitizers.
You can buy sweet grass, sage, or cedar hand sanitizers from their website and you can also visit them on social media.
Jake Cardinal is a local journalism initiative reporter for Alberta Native News.