together we can grow, share and learn
Squash and beans
Squash and beans
Traditional tobacco plant
Traditional tobacco plant
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Chippewa: Seeds of My Sisters

In May, the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC) offered four workshops on topics related to plants and gardening. The goal of the workshops was to teach community members about planting and bring gardening back to Aboriginal communities to encourage healthy eating and increase families’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

These workshops were held on a weekly basis in the greenhouse at the SOAHAC site in Chippewa of the Thames First Nation. A nutritious potluck lunch was served during each workshop.

The workshop teachings focused on:

  • Earth-centered healing, community visioning, and seed sharing;
  • Indigenous food security and food as medicine;
  • Companion planting and succession planting; and
  • Basic gardening tips.

Storytelling is also an key aspect of Aboriginal culture. Many stories were shared by participants about how agriculture was a large part of everyday life for Aboriginal people and the importance of maintaining our traditional harvest: corn, beans and squash. 

Seniors from the Life Long Care program at N’Amerind Friendship Centre had the opportunity to participate in most of the workshops and enjoyed the information and teachings that were shared. At the last session, all of the seeds that were planted had sprouted and were beginning to bloom!