Celebrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge Three Sisters Garden
As young environmental leaders we believe that we are stronger together rather than apart. We believe that this is an opportune time to reprioritize our values and establish sustainable practices that support healthy environments and populations across Canada and this world. We recognize that Traditional Ecological Practices that have been ignored and displaced by colonization should be respected and taught as viable lessons within a recovery process that is founded on the lessons we have learned through the Truth and Reconciliation process.
We propose that as an environmental leadership program we continue to consult and work with local Indigenous communities to develop a Traditional Three Sisters Garden at our school, located with the Westminster Ponds ESA situated in proximity to the London Environmental Network (LEN), ReForest London and of course our TVDSB Environmental Education Centre. In doing so, TVDSB students K-12 & other community members will have access to this shared knowledge and awareness & take one step closer towards greater equity and inclusion.
March 2020 ML student in our program proposes a Three Sisters Garden as a site improvement plan to ReForest London.
Fall 2020 ReForest London and HELP Teachers discuss the possibility of implementing this plan.
Input from TVDSB FNMI Coordinators is requested. Supports from N’Amerind Community Liaison provided.
Winter 2021 HELP program begins discussions with Knowledge Holder from local Oneida Nation to conference with student about her understandings of the Three Sisters Garden Story and to authenticate the story as it relates to local traditions.
Spring 2021 discuss the idea of using raised gardens this year (COVID – smaller scale to ensure success) and then building the larger more permanent garden once we are finally done with COVID! What a celebration that will be!
Reflection & Celebration
We celebrated and cried a bit when all finally were able to conference together through Teams Meeting. This process took a while! We are just getting there in terms of the raised beds, but we are so excited to be on this journey together and look forward to a day when the larger garden is accessible to all, and can be source of food for many, a place of celebration for others and a lesson on sustainability and collaboration.
We are still in the works in terms of creating a video/adding pictures we are also doing much more in this program including testing water as Lake Erie Water Rangers – Canadian Fresh Water Alliance. I count my blessings daily to be teaching this program.