Harvesting and Crafting Wild Products
The harvesting and crafting of wild forest products – non-timber forest products (NFTPs) – generates millions of dollars annually in British Columbia.
In 2007, Coastal First Nations undertook an NFTP study to explore the feasibility of harvesting essential oils from Western Redcedar that was abundant in our forests, and in later years expanded to other conifer species and shrubs.
Very little was known about the properties of conifer essential oils from north Pacific forests at that time. Through years of research, pilot distillations and analysis of the oils, we discovered the potent and high quality essential oils of Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock, Shore Pine, Lodgepole Pine, Douglas Fir, Amabilis Fir and Western Redcedar.
In 2011, Coastal First Nations partnered with a local aromatherapy company to create a signature blend for guestroom amenities as a successful trial run.
Currently, the Nuxalk Development Corporation and Metlakatla Stewardship Society produce Great Bear Rainforest Essential Oils™, as a regional Aboriginal-owned and operated business supported by Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative.