Labrador Tea: A Story of Collaboration

[Upbeat electronic music fades in.] Vincent Lévesque: My name is Vincent Lévesque. I own Les produits autochtones Terre de L’Aigle in Wendake, and I am Huron-Wendat. Our indigenous products company has been in operation… …for more than fifteen years – actually, nearly seventeen years now. At Les produits autochtones Terre de L’Aigle… …our specialty is taking care of the body and mind in the North American Indigenous tradition. We have a range of products made from different plants… …and our most popular one is Labrador tea. Martin Mondor: This product has an excellent flavour, a bit spicy. That’s what sets it apart from other teas, like green tea. Vincent Lévesque: The harvesting process is very simple. You have to dry and store the plants properly. After proper storage, we process the plants in different ways. Because we can extract the oil, we can make essential oil from Labrador tea. We can also prepare it as leaves or as a liquid concentrate. We focus on offering a product that tastes good and is good for you. The main thing we did in this research project was the production of powdered concentrate. Our goal with Agriculture Canada is to create a product for consumers… …that’s accessible to everyone, that meets standards, and that’s certified and standardized. Results from recent studies are very, very interesting. We already know Labrador tea is effective… …but we’ve seen some very exciting things, scientifically speaking. Lots of polyphenols, minerals and vitamins. It’s great to see that the more we go along, the more good news we get. We knew we’d find these kinds of things… …but now they’ve been validated scientifically with the research centre. It’s fun to see how science and tradition can come together. Martin Mondor: We were able to help him adapt his knowledge to suit modern production methods… …and we used our knowledge to help him develop a great product… …that’s now available on the market. Vincent Lévesque: Right now, we have a small team of harvesters… …because we’re still in the development phase. This product is going to create a real sense of pride within the North American Indigenous harvesting community. It’s going to allow us to create jobs and make workers proud to harvest something… …that will help take care of people all around the world. It comes from our cultures and our traditions. Our goal is to make Labrador tea really popular. We want to help take care of people. [Upbeat electronic music ends.]

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