Turtle Lodge Trading Post Inc. (TLTP) is an Indigenous-owned and operated mail-order wholesale/retail company that was founded in 2006. Today TLTP employs and regularly subcontracts fourteen people in its day-to-day operations, and continues to create opportunities for suppliers and the community at large in a variety of ways.
Over the years, TLTP has earned a reputation as a trusted supplier of whole leaf organic Semah (for ceremony only), Sweetgrass, Sages, and other dried herbs, shells, smudge bundles, feathers, and other ceremonial tools, Indigenous art and gifts, orange shirts, & lots more.
For years we watched good people struggle with uncertainty about the availability, cost, quality & source for their ceremonial medicines & tools. We made it our mission to become a trusted source for these products. We believe this care & concern for quality & respect for the plant world that allows us to offer the level of excellence that our customers have come to expect.
We are located on 10 acres of mostly forest in Clayton, Ontario. We don’t have a physical store, per se, just rooms full of shelves and bins. We operate by appointment for pick-up, and are mainly a mail-order company. We also have our “Turtle on the Road” program where, for several years (pre-covid), you could find us by special invitation on a regular basis at the Kumik Elders' Lodge & the Wabano Centre for Indigenous Health, as well as at pow wows and events around the region.
We are currently the only company in Canada licenced to carry whole leaf organic Semah specifically for ceremonial use. Since 2015, TLTP has been the driving force in Canada for the establishment of Tobacco licencing specifically for ceremonial use. We have spent and continue to spend countless hours trail blazing and mapping out this path, educating, and determining how best to monitor this effort so that sacred Semah only reaches those it is intended for. Visit the main Semah page for more details.
SACRED MEDICINES ARE NOT FOR SALE!
Mother Earth provides a rich abundance of food and other materials for our use, and asks little in return other than for us to respect and look after Her and each other. Traditionally, sacred medicines are gifted, traded, grown, or harvested from the wild. However, in today’s society, it is not always practical or possible to honour the medicines in exactly those ways, especially for folks living in cities.
TLTP was born from necessity. We made it our mission to help bring high quality, ethically sourced medicines for ceremonial use to folks who cannot get out on the land to grow or harvest their own. So many people have been disconnected from these precious roots. So much knowledge has been lost due to colonization. We felt it was vitally important to do whatever we could to help people get reconnected and begin the process of healing. In the process we have learned so much and met so many amazing people along the trail.
This business supports us so that we can continue to support the community in a variety of ways. We are a for-profit business by legal definition because we need to make a living and keep a roof over our heads. But we are deeply committed to the people and also involved in a variety of community endeavours, so supporting us means you are also supporting the People.
We steer away from providing any ceremonial information on our website with few exceptions. TLTP does NOT sell ceremony. We will help if we can, but will always encourage you to seek the guidance of an Elder in your own community, if possible. If you have questions we will be happy to answer them to the best of our ability, or direct you to someone who may be able to help.
PLEASE REMEMBER, whenever you ask for or are gifted with a teaching it is always appropriate to make an offering of Semah. If you can't do it in person, an offering to Mother Earth is an appropriate alternative.
All our herbal products are either purchased from organic or ethically wildcrafted sources. Many are also certified Kosher. Whenever possible, we purchase from Indigenous harvesters and suppliers and are always ready to help new Indigenous entrepreneurs. Many of our products are locally sourced but, if demand outweighs supply, we sometimes import herbs from trusted sources outside the region. Above all else, we pride ourselves on quality and service and have established a solid reputation over the years.
We’ve met so many amazing people on this path over the years. On behalf of our entire staff, we offer our deep, heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years. Your encouragement, loyalty and wisdom are greatly appreciated!
Thank you! Merci! Miigwetch! Wela’lin! Tiawenhk! Marci! Móran taing!
For your continued support!!
(Member of the Metis Nation of Canada)
THE TURTLE ON THE ROAD PROGRAM:
In 2015, the Kumik Elder’s Lodge in Hull, QC invited us to bring our products to the lodge on a regular basis. Several months later, the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health invited us to do the same at their Monday Culture Night. We are very grateful for their support and encouragement. The program has become known as our TURTLE ON THE ROAD (TOR) program.
**TOR has not yet resumed at Kumik or Wabano post pandemic.
TURTLE ON THE ROAD (TOR) REPRESENTATIVES:
FRANCINE & JOHN HENRI COMMANDA (Dokis First Nation)
Francine and John Henri Commanda, began working as TOR hosts in the fall of 2017, and look after our regular monthly visits to the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.
Kate Mackenzie became a TOR host in the fall of 2018 looking after our biweekly visits to the Kumik Elder's Lodge.