The name Oneka comes from the Mohawk native language, it has been chosen for its meaning - water - the protection and respect of this element being at the center of our mission and our activities. We have chosen it with gratitude for its beauty, the universality of its pronunciation and the deep connection we have felt with it.
It reflects both the importance for us to craft personal care product that respect aquatic ecosystems, and our deep esteem for Indigenous peoples' cultures, values, and heritage.
It means we formulate biodegradable Shampoos, Conditioners and Shower Gels and that we continuously monitor our formulas to make sure they are free from toxic ingredients for the body and for our environment.
Our company bears an indigenous name, and our activities take place on Abenaki land. We want to make it clear however that, our co-founders are not indigenous, and we do not claim our products to be formulated according to any indigenous knowledge.
Choosing an indigenous name for our business is not something we take lightly. We are fully aware that our duty to honor and take responsibility toward Indigenous peoples is even greater because of this choice.
We can't ignore the inequalities these communities who have so much to teach us are facing every day. Our wish is for our company to stand as a true ally for them.
We still have a long way to go, but we are trying hard to get there, guided by mindful and benevolent listening, resources that educate us and awaken our conscience, and above all, the desire to always do better.
When it comes to water, the truth is, although it is an abundant resource in Canada, sustainable access to safe, clean water in Indigenous communities continues to be a pressing issue. That is why we have been actively supporting WATER FIRST, an organization whose work helps address water challenges in Indigenous communities in Canada through education, training, and meaningful collaborations. Since 2009, Water First has collaborated with over 50 Indigenous communities in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Labrador on a variety of water education and training projects. Their program address dinking water and environmental challenges through partnerships with First Nation youth and young adults.