medicine garden

An Indigenous Medicine Garden at St Mary’s University

What prompted this?

A couple of years ago conversations with staff, faculty, Indigenous elders and students about reconnecting with the land St Mary’s is built on lead to the planning of a Medicine Garden of local native plants. This project is a small but important step in in St Mary’s Reconciliation response, specifically reconnecting with the land and the Indigenous history of this land. An Indigenous medicine garden around the flagpole in the heart of campus will feature native plants used by local Indigenous people.

How will the garden be used?

The whole StMU community will be welcome here to sit & read, talk, study, meditate or learn about native plants that were once common across the area. As well, it will be used as a source of medicine for smudging (eg sage, sweetgrass, kinnikinnick) and a site for use by students in chemistry, ecology, history, conservation biology and education. For example, chemistry students could extract organic compounds from the plants, ecology students could observe the impacts of adding native plants to the area on insect biodiversity and education students could use it as a model for developing similar gardens in schools in the area.

Where is this garden?

Around the flagpole in the heart of St Mary’s University campus.

medicine garden map

Who is involved?

Four students in Biology will be creating the medicine garden, signage, and web blogs as part of their senior project: Joslynn Colp, Perla Garcia Mendoza, Lauren Poelzer and Kessa Stuckert along with their advisor, Dr Mary Ann McLean. The students gratefully acknowledge the support and guidance of Michelle Scott (Director of Indigenous Initiatives), Adam Bowen (Team Lead, Communications & Marketing), Tegan Gislason (Advancement Assistant), Patience Mbwizhu (Senior Development Officer, Advancement) and Pablo Ortiz (Director of Student Affairs).

At various stages in the process we invite anyone who is interested to give us a hand.

Continue Reading about the Medicine Garden!