Hunter Cascagnette and Beze Gray were at the Toronto Queer Market last weekend representing their small business in-between drag queen and drag king performances at Barbara Hall Park.
Cascagnette (Euro settler/ Georgian Bay Metis) and Gray (Anishinaabe/ Lunaape/ Oneida) co-own Medicines from the Land, a 2SLGBTQ+ Indigenous-owned and family-run small business located in southern Georgian Bay, specializing in local herbal medicines, maple products, antler jewelry and deer hides.
“We do various aspects of hide tanning, sugar bushing, growing and harvesting for the business with our hound dog Bashkwegin aka Bucky,” reads the About Us section on the business’ website. “Beze makes labels and posters for the business. Hunter makes our herbal products and antler jewelry. Hunter is training in clinical herbalism to better serve the community.”
The Toronto Queer Market was started by queer designer and entrepreneur Ashley Champion to create more spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ artists and vendors to sell their wares.
“Our market is held monthly at Barbara Hall Park at 519 Church Street in Toronto from May to October,” says Market organizers. The Market boasts a roster of more than 40 vendors who exhibit their wares alongside music hosted by local DJs and performances by local drag queens and kings.
The duo says their herbal products are all made from plants harvested from their gardens or sustainably wild harvested in relationship with the land and according to the health of local ecosystems.
“We don’t outsource any plant medicine used in our products. All the plants are freshly harvested by us to offer you the freshest possible herbal medicines,” said Cascagnette. “Our antler is naturally shed and locally sourced. The antler jewelry pieces are all cut, sanded, buffed, drilled, oiled and assembled carefully by hand.”
The co-owners said they enjoy working on all the different stages that go into creating unique, handmade and authentic products.
“When you support us, you’re supporting 2SLGBTQ+ Indigenous lifeways. Thank you for your support,” they said.