Down to the Root: Kendra Jessie on Her Purpose and Indigenous Roots

Go beyond surface level with some of our favorite creators, innovators, and beauty gurus in our Down to the Root interview series. They let us in as we find out who they are, what drives them, and how beauty and hair ties in. 

Prose recently launched in Canada and we’re so excited to share custom haircare with our friends up North. Thanks to the launch, we’ve connected with more inspiring influencers. One standout is Kendra Jessie. Kendra is a part of the Sucker Creek First Nation and takes great pride in her heritage and carries the lessons she’s learned from her Indigenous elders throughout her daily life. Hear the lessons she’s learned and how hair ties into her culture below.

Table of Contents

    Background check

    What overarching message do you want to spread through your social media channels? 

    That we all have a special and sacred purpose that was put inside our hearts and nobody else can fulfill that but ourselves. I try to share how I am working to fulfill my own purpose and inspire others to fulfill theirs through my social media posts. 

    What is something you think is important for people to understand about Cree culture? 

    One of my favorite teachings I have learned is the Seven Generations teaching. It means that what we are doing today is affecting seven generations ahead of us and what seven generations back did, is affecting us today. This teaching has honestly changed my life and motivated me to be a better person. It’s made me realize that my actions and decisions affect more than just myself and those around me, they are affecting generations to come.

    Kendra with her hair braided. Photography by

    What significance does hair hold in Cree culture? 

    Our hair is sacred as it is an extension of our spirit. Your hair goes through everything with you, so I was taught that when you have a loss in your life, you are supposed to cut your hair. As you heal and grow from that loss, your hair will grow back with you. 

    Think fast

    Who makes you feel most yourself?

    My siblings. I was an only child for several years before they were born and they motivate me to be the best human that I am capable of being every single day. 

    What is something you can’t live without doing every day? 

    Drinking water. As simple as it sounds, when I don’t drink enough water I can feel the negative effects physically, mentally, and emotionally. Water is life.

    When do you feel the most challenged?

    Every day is a new challenge. Learning my culture, reclaiming my identity, dealing with mental health issues, and healing trauma presents new challenges on a daily basis. 

    Where do you feel most at home? 

    When I’m with my partner or when I’m in a ceremony. 

    Kendra with her partner James.

    Why do you do what you do, professionally speaking?

    To inspire the future generations through leading by example.

    Hairy details

    What’s your hair routine like? Are you a minimalist or maximalist when it comes to your strands?

    I am definitely a minimalist when it comes to my haircare routine. I do not like to use too much product too often and I usually only wash my hair a couple times a week. I try to braid my hair a few times every week as I have been taught by Indigenous elders that this is part of taking care of yourself since the three strands represent your mind, body, and spirit.

    Kendra with her Prose products.

    Do you have any beauty hacks you think people should know about?

    One of the biggest things I have noticed that has improved my hair is sobriety. Since I quit drinking my hair is so much healthier, softer, longer, and grows so quickly after a haircut. 

    Featured image photography by @reelmelo.