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Red Roots Trading opens new sovereign cannabis store in Ottawa; steps up efforts to give back to Algonquin people

A second location of the highly rated sovereign cannabis store is now open at 1990 Russell Rd. 

OTTAWA – There is a new sovereign Indigenous cannabis store open in south-east Ottawa. The Red Roots Trading Co. (formally known as Medicine Wheel Natural Healing – Ottawa) has not only rebranded its flagship store at 196 Beechwood Ave in Vanier, but has now opened up a new location at 1990 Russell Road in Ottawa. 

The new location is open 24/7, just like the Beechwood location.. The design of the new store is fresh and modern, and the entire product line is displayed on large TV screens inside the shop. The focus of the product line is heavily medicinal and features all Indigenous product lines.

As the name implies, Red Roots Trading Co. is a 100% Indigenous owned business that is operating on the unceded lands of the Anishinaabe – Algonquin people in Ottawa. Former National Chief Delbert Riley assisted in the opening of the stores by approaching Ottawa City Council and the Ottawa Police and offering to explain how Sections 25 and 35 of the Canadian Constitution protect Aboriginal and treaty rights to operate sovereign Indigenous cannabis stores on unceded lands. 

Red Roots Trading Co. is part of a movement that has seen dozens of sovereign Indigenous cannabis stores opened up off reserve in cities across Ontario and the Maritimes. Members of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the Mohawk Nation have now opened over two dozen such trading posts in downtown Toronto. Members of the Chippewa Nation and the Oneida Nation have similarly opened up shops in downtown London, Ontario. Members of the Micmac Nation have also opened shops on their unceded lands in Halifax, St. Johns and Moncton. According to Chief Riley, “These Indigenous owned shops have made a positive contribution to their cities, to Indigenous entrepreneurship, and towards reconciliation with Canada. I am hopeful these shops point towards a new era of economic reconciliation and that the days of Canada’s economic genocide towards Indigenous people are drawing to a close.”

Giving back to the community

In December, Red Roots Trading Co. provided 100 new winter coats to children living on the Kitiganzibi First Nation. As Red Roots spokesperson Anthony Tenasco noted, “we didn’t want to give the children used thrift store coats, so we bought new coats from Sports Check.” In October, Red Roots Trading Co. provided 300 free pumpkins for children celebrating Halloween. The store’s commitment to giving back to support their people has extended to providing financial assistance to community members requiring surgeries, and providing up to $1000 donations to funeral costs for Kitigan Zibi members. 

Red Roots Trading Co. has also supported the efforts to recover the bodies of the missing and murdered Indigenous women in the Winnipeg landfill, and has sponsored Indigenous cultural activities in Ottawa. According to Anthony Tenasco, future projects for the company include working on a “tiny home community for people coming from prison or just getting clean and back on their feet. We have a serious homeless issue in Kitigan Zibi which we are helping to resolve” added Tenasco. 

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