Meet Our Founder

Steward. Storyteller. Scientist.

A protector of the collective and a keeper of knowledge, Leigh Joseph, PhD, whose ancestral name is Styawat, is the ethnobotanist, researcher, activist, and Indigenous founder of Sḵwálwen. She is also a mother and wife, a daughter and community leader whose aim is to help heal the intergenerational effects of cultural trauma within the Squamish Nation by learning, working with and preserving Indigenous plants, and carrying them forward into the modern world.

Weaving together the wisdom passed down through her ancestors and the knowledge gained through her academic career, Leigh acts as a living bridge between past and present, plants and people.

Leigh approaches the natural world gently and respectfully, harvesting with techniques that are ethical and sustainable. Each batch of botanical-based products carries the richness and potency of the natural world, without any harsh chemicals, phthalates, synthetics or parabens.

Sḵwálwen represents more than skincare. It is a ceremonial offering of Indigenous plant wisdom that keeps ancestral tradition alive.