Wisahkotewinowak Gardens: Indigenous Land-based Learning in Southwestern Ontario

In southwestern Ontario, Indigenous communities have expressed an interest in eating more locally harvested traditional foods. Urban Indigenous families and youth who frequently relocate to cities for work or school are in need of support to reinforce these important relationships. To build on local initiatives and investigate barriers identified in this region, a participatory research project is getting underway. Study objectives are to address traditional food access and knowledge barriers by profiling community examples, while exploring innovative land-based education and practices across generations. Working with a diverse set of partners on reserve, in cities, and on campus, the study will use Photovoice to capture stories in the community of Six Nations, and the nearby urban environments. During the first year, Wisahkotewinowak Gardens have been established at the University of Guelph. Fall harvesting workshops have taken place on campus led by knowledge holders from Six Nations. Produce grown by students and other local volunteers, was collectively preserved to be shared with the wider urban-based local Indigenous community. It is anticipated that sharing practices, increasing food knowledge and access through increased social supports, will contribute towards the health and wellbeing of individuals, Nations and Territories.