When I was at Heritage Park for the annual sugar festival, Chris and I happened across a table with little paper bags. I didn’t expect much from the table, and really wasn’t planning on spending any more money that day, but as I walked by, the woman behind the table started talking about her tea.
Solidaritea: a small start-up created by a couple of Mount Royal University students on a group project. What did they all have in common? A love for tea.
As she started talking, I began to realize that this tea wasn’t just an ordinary tea. It was one developed in the hopes of raising funds for women in domestic violence situations, specifically Indigenous women. For each bag of tea sold, they donate $1.50.
Challenged by their professor to create a project based in everyday activism, the group had decided to develop a brand and product dedicated to supporting those in need. Her passion was immediate, and the simplicity of the brand, the packaging, the tea – everything demonstrated a core group desire to help and provide.
When I first opened the bag, the smell of mint, rose, and sage drifted. Unlike other mint teas, this tea is gentle, well balanced, and is one of the best teas I have ever had. I will buy this tea over and over. The tea and its smell is refreshing and almost reinvigorating.
I think this is my first time experiencing sage in a tea. I’m definitely a tea-lover, and I’ve had my fair share of David’s Teas, but this simple recipe exceeds the flavours of any major company I’ve tasted. With only three ingredients, I didn’t really expect to fall in love with the tea that much, but what do I know?
I know that buying a bag of tea isn’t enough to help. I understand that this tea won’t change the world, that my purchase is little more than a drop in an ocean of need. However, I also know that this is important. Providing help, support, and resources for survivors may never seem enough, but I believe every bit counts.
If that’s by spreading awareness by engaging in meaningful conversations, attending events dedicated to the over 1100 murdered or missing Indigenous women in Canada, or just buying a bag of tea, I think we can all do our part. We cannot let this conversation die out. It is through active engagement and participation, an acknowledgement of the horrors that individuals have faced, that we can begin to create a necessary dialogue.
I stand alongside the survivors, the over 1100 murdered or missing Indigenous women, the individuals who may be too afraid to speak. I do not stand for them, but with them. As one who cannot begin to imagine their pain, but as an ally.
If you would like to learn more and buy Solidaritea, click here for their etsy shop. Currently, they are selling Mint, Chamomile, and Earl Grey tea.