Shop with confidence and conscience at the CMHR Boutique


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If you’re in the market for an ethical shopping experience, look no further than the Boutique at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/10/2021 (464 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

If you’re in the market for an ethical shopping experience, look no further than the Boutique at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Tucked just inside the Museum’s entrance, the Boutique offers a win-win experience for shoppers and makers alike. And many of its unique items can even spark important conversations and actions.

Tristin Tergesen, manager of the bustling boutique, takes pride in providing options for mindful shoppers, whether they do their buying in-person or online.

“If you’re looking for a gift or particular items such as a journal or a piece of jewelry, you can get them at the Boutique confident they’ve been made in a socially conscious way. We’re here to help people make thoughtful decisions about what they buy, with a wide selection of fair-trade and ethically sourced options,” she says.

“We often sell items that are connected with our exhibition content. Right now, we have the Witness Blanket on display, an incredible work of art about the impacts of residential schools, and in the Boutique we’re offering an orange T-shirt that was designed by the same artist, Kwakwaka’wakw and Coast Salish master carver Carey Newman. Proceeds from the shirts are going towards the Orange Shirt Day Society and the Witness Blanket Legacy Fund,” Tergesen says.

Tergesen also wants shoppers to know that they can pop in to visit the Boutique anytime, even if they don’t plan to explore the Museum. She continued, “Our offerings are substantial enough that we want people to consider us as a stand-alone shopping destination.”

Current must-see (and smell) items include soaps and skincare products by Sequoia, a brand that is 100 per cent owned and operated by Indigenous women. Sequoia uses sustainable practices and ethically sourced ingredients, while keeping the next seven generations in mind. With the holiday season coming up, they’re great gift ideas to keep in mind.

For those looking for a thought-provoking locally made item, there’s the Coal and Canary hand-poured soy-blend candle featuring the phrase “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity in rights” in English or French. The wording comes from Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

There’s also striking leatherware such as the fiery red SheNative bucket bag, which is part of the Red Purse collection by SheNative. The entire collection is designed to raise awareness about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada, inspired by artist Jaime Black’s The REDress Project. A portion of the proceeds provides support services for Indigenous women who are fleeing domestic violence or for programs intended to empower Indigenous women and girls.

Exclusive to the Museum, the Reflections of Pride jewelry line offers a conversation-starting way to add a colourful splash to any outfit.

“The Boutique is a chance for visitors to take away a story, or a sentiment, and not just a souvenir,” Tergesen says. “Our items are also deeply connected with the human rights messages of the Museum.”

The Boutique is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with curbside pickup at the Museum’s accessible entrance available during those hours. Or shop online any time at

In keeping with current public health orders, anyone aged 12 and older visiting or shopping in the Museum must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 along with photo ID. Face masks are required for visitors age five and up, and a selection of reusable cloth face masks is available for purchase in the Museum’s Boutique.

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