WINNIPEG -- An Indigenous-owned business in the Exchange District is working to make personal protective equipment (PPE) more readily available.

The company, called Exchange PPE, is focused on building supply chains and safety solutions for both Indigenous communities and the business market to get PPE.

Exchange PPE

“We actually have a physical store that people can come to,” said Josh Giesbrecht, president of Exchange PPE.

“This style of store is case lots so it’s almost like a Costco, so you can buy it by the box.”

Giesbrecht is an entrepreneur from the Roseau River First Nation.

Before the pandemic hit, he said he was building a CBD oils sales business, but then everything changed

“What I saw back in April was that the Navajo Nation was getting hit really hard and frankly it terrified me and I want to be part of the solution for our communities up here in Canada and seeing how can we serve our nations here in the best way possible,” Giesbrecht said.

He said working together to keep each other safe is the most important thing anyone can do during the pandemic.

Exchange PPE

To keep people safe, Exchange PPE has masks, hand sanitizer, gowns and foggers.

Exchange PPE

There are also mobile handwashing stations, equipped with portable water, a sink and wheels, which Giesbrecht said are perfect for classrooms.

Exchange PPE

Plus, the store offers items with an Indigenous twist.

“Because we are 100 per cent First Nations-owned company, it’s really important to us that we cater our education to our customers, around them,” Giesbrecht said.

“So with Nelson House Cree Nation we’ve done exactly that, we put one of their social distancing stickers in Cree.”

Exchange PPE

The store, located at 171 Bannatyne Ave., is now open.

A website and daily deliveries within Winnipeg will be launched Sept. 22.