“Would you put it to your lips?”
That is the question asked in a new campaign, titled #GlossedOver, by Indigenous-owned brand Cheekbone Beauty as the company looks to highlight Canada’s contaminated water issues on reserves.
In a statement earlier this month, the brand announced the campaign features non-saleable lip gloss with names such as Lucious Lead, E.Coli Kiss, and Mercury Shimmer.
“It’s time to stop glossing over this issue,” Cheekbone Beauty founder and CEO Jenn Harper said.
“Everyone should have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s why #GlossedOver is so important: you wouldn’t put a contaminated gloss on your lips, so why anyone should put contaminated water to theirs,” she said.
In recognition of Indigenous History Month through June, Sephora Canada said it will donate all proceeds from the sale of Cheekbone Beauty products to Water First, a charitable organization supporting Indigenous communities to address the water crisis.
According to Water First, approximately one-in-six First Nations communities in Canada don’t have access to clean water. These numbers include both short-term and long-term boil water advisories as well as do not consume advisories.
In April, Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu said that she hopes Canada will be able to lift its remaining long-term drinking water advisories by 2025.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, when he was first elected in 2015, promised to end all long-term drinking water advisories on First Nations by March 2021. His government failed to meet that deadline.
The lack of access to clean drinking water on reserves has been a blemish on Canada’s already troubled relationship with Indigenous Peoples.
Ensuring every First Nation has clean tap water is regarded as a crucial part of achieving reconciliation.
– with files from The Canadian Press
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