How Indigenous Women are bringing Sweetgrass into the modern World

How Indigenous Women are bringing Sweetgrass into the modern World

Posted by Michaelee Lazore on

Sweetgrass grows wild in many places in North America and Indigenous people have found many uses from generation to generation. With the current North American Indigenous generation forced to adapt into a capital society, some of today’s women have found ways to use Sweetgrass to create useful items every person needs and enjoys in every day life and find ways to harvest a living using Mother Nature’s Gifts. We are borrowing knowledge from our past and bringing that into the present to make a better future for the next generation.

Sweetgrass products

The scent of sweetgrass reminds me of my childhood. When I was a little girl, I grew up around sweetgrass. I was also lucky enough that a family member and babysitter was a basket maker. Whenever I was at her house, there were basket making supplies, including sweetgrass always at her house. Because of this her house always smelled like sweetgrass.

In today's modern world I have started to notice Indigeneous artisans who are incorporating sweetgrass into their arts and crafts and making it a modern day fashion statement, whether it be through beaded pieces, decor for your home or bath and body care products.

As you probably already know, my business, Sequoia makes an entire line of Sweetgrass products. I developed this line after I couldn't find any products with Indigenous scents such as Sweetgrass. You can check out the entire line here:

Below are 6 of my favorite Indigenous women artisans/businesses who incorporate sweetgrass into their craft/work.

· Sweetgrass Earrings

While tastes in earrings vary among women, a few things about Sweetgrass earrings are that they tend to be lighter and have an Indigenous look and feel. Some places you can get Sweetgrass earrings are:

1. Billie Jo Ratt of Sweetgrass Inspirations on Facebook is known for her amazing beadwork. She has also incorporated tiny braids of Sweetgrass into her work.

Sweetgrass wrapped Earrings and Pin by Sweetgrass Inspirations

These floral earrings and matching pin are wrapped in Sweetgrass making these a beautiful statement piece. She is best known for her Grandmother beaded pieces.

Grandmother Earrings and pin by Sweetgrass Inspirations

2 Heather Stewart of @sweetgrass_beads on Instagram also makes earrings with tiny Sweetgrass braids incorporated into her pieces. I was wowed by these Strawberry-Sweetgrass earrings, as both Strawberries and Sweetgrass are favorites of mine.

 Strawberry Sweetgrass Earrings by @sweetgrass_beads by Heather Stewart

You can also check out some of her beautiful one of a kind beadwork pieces on her Instagram. Some of my favorites are Lily Gladstone, Wednesday Addams and all the Strawberry Sweetgrass pieces.

3. Candace's Canvases on Facebook is another incredible bead worker who beads on canvas and also includes Sweetgrass into her works of art. This amazing piece which features a beaded corn and Sweetgrass is one of my favorites. Time and talent definitely go into each piece.

Candaces Canvases on Facebook

Candace's Canvases on Facebook


· Sweetgrass Baskets

A favorite of mine are sweetgrass baskets. They just seem to hold that sweetgrass smell forever.

While baskets have always been commonplace for Indigenous people, the sale of baskets has not. Today’s society is realizing that naturally made products are simply better for the environment and they smell better in your home.

I have been gifted some Sweetgrass baskets, and they do smell divine. It reminds me of my childhood, as I grew up around basket makers.

4. Sandra Rancine of Mikmaq Woven Dreams makes beautiful unique baskets and incorporates Sweetgrass. These beautiful Strawberry Sweetgrass baskets are my favorite not just because they smell good, but the strawberry shape shows what an excellent crafts person she is, especially with the attention to detail incorporating the strawberry blossoms.

Strawberry Sweetgrass baskets by Sandra Rancine of mikmaqwovendreams
Sandra Rancine of Mikmaq Woven Dreams

5. Ann Mitchell of @dreamweaver on Tiktok shows a lot of behind the scenes of how Sweetgrass baskets are made including the beautiful colors. This tiktok video shows a beautiful ombre design. You can see all the beautiful detail that goes into these baskets. The Sweetgrass used is just enough to give a beautiful scent to the entire basket. She goes above and beyond with the ombre color of the floral embellishments on the top.

@dreamweaverbasketry on tiktok @dreamweaver on Tiktok


· Food

Did you know you can incorporate Sweetgrass in your food? Chef Tawnya Brant has been doing just that!

6. Tawnya Brant is Revitalizing Indigenous North American and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) food culture. She owns Yawekon Foods, which is a food catering business. She's been featured on Top Chef Canada and she focuses on Indigenous cuisine. Below is her Bison Meatball dish with Blueberry-Sweetgrass BBQ sauce.

We've also tried her Blueberry-Sweetgrass drink. Delish!

Bison Meatball dish with Blueberry-Sweetgrass BBQ sauc

Bison Meatball dish with Blueberry-Sweetgrass BBQ sauce


Sequoia also has Sweetgrass

And of course if you love Sweetgrass like I do, you can check out our line of Sweetgrass Candles and Bath and Body products here: Shop Sequoia


Let us know below if you know of any other incredible Women artisans who incorporate Sweetgrass into their work. We would love to find more.

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