Traditional plants bring people together
By Colten Kamlade, Staff Reporter
The Aboriginal Garden, which was planted with seedlings in April, has fared well over the past few of months.
The tobacco lies close to the ground, towered over by the sage and sweetgrass that blow in the wind. These plants are sacred to aboriginal cultures, and according to David Seaweed, Aboriginal student services coordinator, the garden has, and will be, the focus of numerous events.
“We actually did a planting lunch in early April for a large number of college folk. We also had three more dinner workshops in April for the garden. We will probably try and incorporate the garden in one of our National Aboriginal Day events in June. The Advanced Student Leadership Program also want to do [an] event that they can also include the garden in,” Seaweed said in an email interview with the Other Press.
When it comes time, the harvesting of the plants will be an event itself, Seaweed said.
“When the plants have grown, we will pick and process through ceremony, and then re-plant,” he said.
Seaweed also mentioned that they are partnered with the Sol (sustainability, outreach, and learning) Garden at the Douglas College Coquitlam campus. This garden was created as part of a partnership between Douglas College and the Institute of Urban Ecology (IUE) in 2016.
Though there are no plans for future expansions to the garden, benches were just installed last Monday near the garden on the roof of the campus. The garden is open for anyone to enjoy, and the seating is certainly an incentive to visit the peaceful spot. It is located on the fourth floor of the New Westminster campus, near the Aboriginal Gathering Place, which is also open to the public.
According to the Douglas College website, Seaweed said that the placement of the two spaces next to each other was an important consideration when choosing the location of the garden.
“We wanted the garden to go hand in hand with the Aboriginal Gathering Place, and we wanted to create a garden that would provide medicinal value as well as enhance the spiritual essence of the space,” said Seaweed on the website.