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Water Today Title October 16, 2019

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Indigenous Cannabis Consortium - Building a global indigenous brand

[00:00:03] The mission really is about taking the the indigenous brand around the world. And that means if there's 50 communities with their own different crafters that if those 50 communities those 100 communities those 200 communities whatever they are that brand gets sold around the world. The real issue here is that we need to find buyers for things that we want to do. And the consortium we hope will help facilitate ways to be able to build those bridges and build those environments, creating an ecosystem.

[00:00:39][36.2] [00:00:40] We really have to go way back into who we are and where we are as people we have been a. people of plant culture since forever. Even before European arrival we use those plants and the resources that were provided for all people to you know. We made a living with it, we we nurtured ourselves we grew our our communities it was a food source All kind of plants. that have come into being in our environment. And one of the things my grandfather said long time ago. He said it's always changing. Birds have droppings that creates a new plant. We never seen before. We learn to work with it. And I see cannabis and hemp as just one of those plants, one of the sacred plants that was dropped on us at some point in time and as part of our culture of plant and medicine. We learn we've learned to work with it. It's just really taking our culture now and thing we've been doing this for thousands of years. It's an ancient part of who we are and we take considerable care in making this from it. It has a spiritual element. It has an economic element. It has a a community element to it. So how do we take all of that, wrap it up and say this is a brand that we want to offer and share with the world as well.

[00:02:10][90.2] [00:02:11] Well it starts with the ability to be able to identify how what the community itself values in terms of their own needs and facilitating these needs all we're doing is providing the framework in order for them to be able to participate in this environment that they aren't participating in now. Hemp and cannabis as a plant as food as medicine has the opportunity to be transformative for our communities and and to really be able to bring back much of the value system that exists now but in a way that unites us together.

[00:03:00][49.0] [00:03:02] We in this country have not participated in the economic engine as one aspect in how can we participate now using hemp which has properties in it that would allow for 25 identifiable different types of products, food clothing and building products and cement all different types of things.

[00:03:26][23.7] [00:03:27] And very few people know this but you know the Wall of China was built on hemp. It's thousands of years old. This is a plant that has incredible properties and we want to grow it again as our ancestors did and bring it back as a way of being our food our clothing our textiles our building products. In a way that's never been done before. Building many economies in our communities and allowing generations of communities to grow the skill and develop stewards of the land. There's all these different aspects that are built into it that are transformative. I mean there's just no other way of saying. And we embrace it and we will participate in it. We will move our communities forward in a way we've never been able to do before.

[00:04:18][50.8] [00:04:18] Satisfaction that goes with that, seeing what you've planted from a seedling to grow into this. People want to do that kind of stuff it's it's it's within their values. in working with the land so. So and understanding that and want what has such a bigger meaning in her communities because it's tied to our value systems that we learn about you know in the medicine culture. So so that's why I think there's going to be segments of our community that do want to participate. And have that experience and make it a life a lifelong way of earning a living.

[00:04:58][39.4] [00:04:59] We kind of liken it to the idea that the tobacco industry came and it created a whole raft of issues throughout communities and it took ten years for it to sort of maneuver in a way that now it's kind of settled in and you know who the players are and the participants. Well, building this hemp cannabis industry is gonna take a decade to build. This isn't an overnight proposition. This is something that we need to work with and build in a manner. And it needs to be funded in a way that's going to support communities economic development in the way they believe in stuff. And so we're we're hopeful that the consortium will help in that regard in bringing about a framework that will allow for communities to determine their own future and playing in this industry if they choose to be. And right now we're hearing there's a lot of people who are very interested because you've got people who want to make creams. They want to make food they want to use these plants in ways that we haven't been able to in a very very long time and now it's opened the eyes of many people to say this is a chance for us to transform it for sure.

[00:06:14][75.1] [00:06:16] Building this in a disciplined manner ,it really means the benefits of whatever comes out of our production processes benefit all the community. It's not one person who gets to start something as you see what happened with the tobacco industry but but really how do we create frameworks so that that the fruit of all of this really is it's the collective that benefits. And there's got to be those frameworks that allow for it. So that's part of what the business where she was thinking about when we have that discussion in the communities and with the partners and the different players in the industry. We've done this for thousands of years to manage. Our own our own way of Being. And so we need to recognize those kind of frameworks and say these are innovative models that haven't been shared with the world and make some space in the framework of Canada to recognize that. And and that means communities are going to have to take positions or put in place the framework that works.

[00:07:18][62.6] [00:07:20] Standards and certification are part of building any environment and we need to build our own standards and our own certification because if we're going to brand this around the world, it has to have standards built into it that people know they can trust. This is indigenous. This comes from Canada. This is something I want right and you can do that when you say when you standardize and when you certify. When you don't it's more difficult you might get products that you know this is a little product that may not have quite the same quality as another one of those brands are certified internationally so that we can do that. You know the world is buying a product that they know that they can depend on. And that's really one of our ultimate goals. [00:07:20][0.0] [427.1]