Land Protectors Club Native Plant Garden


We are the Land Protectors Club, a group of Indigenous and non-indigenous students and staff, who have planned an Indigenous, local plants garden on our school grounds. This garden was initially going to be planted directly into the ground in a circle. Planting it directly into the ground would let it have a closer connection with Mother Earth, and a circle is a great symbol of many cycles. The garden would connect the Sacred Room, in a separate building, with the main school building. We wanted this garden to connect people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, as well as plants directly to the earth, and people to land. This garden supports the Vancouver School Board Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement. We requested an extension to the May 2022 deadline when we experienced institutional policies which required us to use planter boxes. With the support of our Principal, we were able to get additional funding for the building of planter boxes, soil and limestone which were required for the garden box before we could begin planting. In October 2022, we were able to finish this project. Our club is committed to Truth and Reconciliation, decolonizing and UNDRIP, and are happy to plant our garden.
We chose for our garden local, Indigenous plants that live in this beautiful unceded Coast Salish Territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh, including salal, evergreen huckleberry, yarrow, red flowering currant. We hope this garden brings joy to all in our school community as well as neighbours who pass by the walkway where the garden is situated. Indigenous plants such as these also have medicinal qualities and we hope that through education, more people will learn about the great qualities of these plants and more!
Gardening encourages community, inspires conversation and shows caretaking. Our club is interested in more conversations about why this garden is a way to connect with community and earth and land protection.
The students of the club have written their trustees to inquire as to the process which requires them to use garden boxes, and they understand that Indigenous ways of knowing and being are ways to incorporate the District’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
This is not only a sustainability and climate issue, but also an issue of Indigenous human rights as we learn about what land acknowledgements mean and what it means to occupy unceded territories.


We planted the following plants: salal, evergreen huckleberry, yarrow, tobacco, red flowering current, and with a very long process were successfully in making this garden come to fruition. After months of advocacy, students planted the garden this fall and have created a website and displays to educate the school community on the plants.

Reflection & Celebration

Students enjoyed a smudge circle (for those who opted to do so), we feasted on Indian Tacos/bannock that the sponsor teachers, Ms. Yellowknee and Lee provided. The Land Protectors Club understand the obstacles in decolonizing our spaces and the importance of upholding Indigenous ways of knowing and being. They have learned about VSB Aboriginal Education Enhancement Policy, district goals, VSB commitment to UNDRIP and about the garden box policy and VSB commitments to equity, inclusion and diversity. They persisted and continue to learn about allyship and the journey of learning. They worked with supportive school administration and communicated with stakeholders on this project.

3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
10. Reduced Inequalities
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action
14. Life Below Water
15. Life on Land
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnerships for the Goals
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