Every so often I get asked why I sell white sage. So I decided to write a page to share my position on this topic.
I am not doing this as a way to get props or attention but to have a place I can point folks to make the conversation easier. I also know my position will leave some people unhappy.
I understand this is a contentious issue and that there are people who feel very strongly. Both within the indigenous communities and outside them. I have had many conversations with indigenous folks about it over the last 15 years of running my store. I understand no one speaks for indigenous folks in any general way. There is no one voice on this. My experience is that the majority of indigenous folks I have spoken to have no issue with sage being sold. This includes all the elders I have spoken with. This of course does not cover everyone. That is not possible.
The indigenous folks who buy it from me at the shop appreciate the access to sage. I understand that there are of course people who feel this shouldn’t be sold here too who aren’t coming in.
In terms of the sage I sell. There are two sources. The packaged sage is wild harvested by indigenous people. The locally farmed sage is bought from a non-indigenous source. I would prefer to buy all my sage from indigenous people and communities but haven’t found a farmed source as of yet. If that is you or you know one please let me know.
If you are an indigenous person and for any reasons have obstacles to access to sage please reach out to me directly and we can work something out. Please understand that staff can’t help with this but I am glad to. Just email me. I don’t ask for peoples backgrounds or try and regulate who buys it. I feel this is not my place or appropriate. There is enough struggle about questioning who is indigenous enough without me adding to it.
Finally starting in the fall of 2021 I started donating all proceeds from sage sold to indigenous charities. I haven’t spoken publicly about this because so often these things are taken as signs of virtue signalling. I’m sharing it now because I think it is part of being transparent about what I am doing around this.
All of this to say after years of conversations and reflecting on these issues I have decided to continue to sell sage. I understand that some people will be unhappy with this. If you want to have a conversation with me in person about it in a heart centred way I am always willing. However, the nature of the internet and the way folks argue here makes me unwilling to have conversations by email or social media about it.
Thanks for reading.
Posted January 19 2022.