Striking a balance between economic prosperity and environmental sustainability, Great Bear Rainforest™ Essential Oils is a social enterprise venture supported by CFN-GBI, the Metlakatla Stewardship Society and Nuxalk Development Corporation.
The oils, which are purchased directly from the Metlakatla and Nuxalk Nations, are carefully steam-distilled from fresh conifer needles, and sustainably harvested by local community members. The harvesting process follows principles of Ecosystem-Based Management, using needles from trees that have already been logged or salvaged.
“These oils are truly unique—from the various scents that are offered to how they’re harvested and processed,” says Business Project Manager Judy Carlick-Pearson. “You cannot buy the essence of the Great Bear Rainforest anywhere else in the world.” Whether it’s Western Hemlock, Citrus Spruce, Western Cedar or a combination of all, the oils capture the essence of the lands, waters and people from which they come.
Carlick-Pearson says the team is in the final stages of re-branding the product and getting it out to market, with hopes of stocking on shelves in time for Christmas—a perfect gift for that special someone.
Although their current focus is on finalizing labels and complying with regulations as they get the product out to local, national and international markets, Carlick-Pearson says the ultimate goal is to build this promising business and create sustainable, long-term employment within these communities.