$2,000 grant provides Indigenous youth opportunity for land-based education

This post, from October 24, has information about a collaboration between Neighbour to Neighbour Centre and the HRIC.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

LeeAnne MacGregor, Community Garden Skills Coordinator at the Hamilton Community Food Centre , has some exciting news to share with the Ward 8 community about a collaboration between Neighbour to Neighbour Centre and the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre.

For more details, please continue reading below…

From LeeAnne:

Grant of $2,000 from the Placemaking Grant Pilot Program provides opportunity for land-based education for Indigenous youth.

Thanks to a grant from the Placemaking Grant Pilot Program, the Community Place Keeping Project is imagining a space for Indigenous youth and knowledge keepers to learn about land-care and traditional Indigenous agriculture.

The project is a collaboration between Neighbour to Neighbour (N2N) and the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre (HRIC) and has expanded to include Indigenous alternative education programs within the HWDSB – The Learning Nest and the SHAE Program (Strengthening Hamilton Aboriginal Education).

Situated on Dish with One Spoon wampum belt territory in Treaty 3, the project location is in Rolston Neighbourhood in Captain Cornelius Park, adjacent an oak-hickory forest remnant named the Rolston Community Forest. Next to the forest is the Neighbour to Neighbour Community Garden, a space coordinated by N2N, where community members meet to collaborate and learn from one another as they, plant, tend, harvest and enjoy a wide variety of crops together.

In 2021, youth and coordinators from the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre (HRIC) connected with the N2N Community Garden to hold a drum birthing ceremony on the ground just outside the garden. As well, ceremonial tobacco and strawberry plants were planted in the garden.

This year, a new garden has been created in the spot where the drum birthing ceremony took place. Mohawk farmer and seed-keeper, Terrylynn Brant, guided students and youth in learning how to grow their own food in ways that support local biodiversity both below and above the soil using ecological, land-centered practices. Through four guided sessions, youth designed and planted the garden in the spring, and returned in the fall to harvest and process seeds from their crops to save for planting in the future.

The Hamilton Urban Indigenous Strategy recognizes the importance of spaces such as these, and the goal is to continue using the garden for Indigenous-led land-based education in future years. It is hoped that knowledge keepers, artists, and others that reflect diverse Indigenous perspectives will be invited to share land and plant knowledges with Indigenous youth and the Rolston community at large.

Gratitude and Nia:wen (thank you) to Terrylynn Brant for sharing her knowledge and expertise about the land and how to care for it.

Special thanks to the teachers, counselors and especially the youth and students from Hamilton Regional Indian Centre (HRIC), The Learning Nest, and SHAE Program (Strengthening Hamilton Aboriginal Education) for designing and creating a beautiful new garden to support our communities with food, connection and learning opportunities.

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here

Councillor John-Paul Danko