Antoinette Cruz is an Indigenous Activist, Cannabis Ambassador and an advocate for social and climate change. Born in Chilliwack, BC and raised with extensive knowledge of Cannabis/ Hemp and the benefits, Antoinette is bringing change to indigenous communities nation wide. In March 2017, voted in as the BC Representative of the National Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association, Antoinette is now prepared to delegate positions for the BC chapter of NIMCA named British Columbia Indigenous Cannabis Association, finalizing positions in June 2017. She also distributes a variety of Hemp products by Hemptopia Canada, Organically grown Hemp seeds, oil, protein powder to retail locations.
Antoinette has 2 decades in the industry, however only recently started using Cannabis as an alternative after being diagnosed with Ovarian cancer in 2008, and again with a mass on her liver in 2012. After requesting an MMAR license in 2008, Antoinette was immediately scheduled for surgery and the cyst was removed. Antoinette was then cleared until an ultrasound and symptoms resulted in the second diagnosis in 2012. In 2013, She was hired at Weeds as a budtender, and quickly moved up to manager. While employed at Weeds, Antoinette participated in live cannabis juicing, consuming cannabis oil, extraction workshops, learning strains, benefits, and about the MMAR system in Canada. She also had the honor of meeting many influential cannabis pioneers and mentors such as: Rick Simpson (RSO), Dr. Paul Hornby ( Hedron Labs/UBC), John Berfelo (MedTainer/Green Earth), Marcus “Bubble Man” Richardson (Bubble Bags/ Hemp Hood Lamb).
Antoinette has a deep passion for her history and the history of colonialization, she claims the biggest gift Cannabis has given her is her identity. As an Indigenous woman, granddaughter of Residential School Survivors and daughter of a 60’s scoop victim, Antoinette feels first hand the negative toll Colonialism has taken on generations of indigenous peoples to present day. Antoinette is committed to health & wellness that is founded on ancient Indigenous culture and teachings. Dedicated to providing positive sustainable solutions, Antoinette’s goal is to engage and educate individuals, groups and/or governments prepared to create a revenue that will provide economic independence, while supporting growing communities in crisis such as identity loss, addictions, housing, clean water, education, healthy food supply, employment, and much more.
Through her NGO, Antoinette is shifting the paradigm to bridge the gap between Indigenous Peoples, Colonial Settlers, Grassroots communities, and Government agencies to better provide opportunities for positive sustainable solutions to climate change, poverty, and the growing numbers of deaths caused by overdose whether pharmaceutical, or recreational. Cannabis is an umbrella solution to many crisis situations that Indigenous people are faced with, and Antoinette trusts her visions that Cannabis will bring unity, diversity and positive life long solutions for generations to come.
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