Indigenous garden takes root at the New West Campus

By Sucheta Singh, Marketing and Communications

Right now it’s just a wooden frame and a whole lot of dirt, but come spring, the new Indigenous garden at the New West Campus will be blooming with plants that are sacred to Aboriginal culture.

After the success of the Fortis Sol Garden at the Coquitlam Campus, Dave Seaweed, Aboriginal Student Services Coordinator, hoped to have something to complement the Aboriginal Gathering Place at the New Westminster Campus.

“We wanted it to go hand in hand with the Gathering Place, and we wanted to create a garden that would provide medicinal value as well as enhance the spiritual essence of the space,” says Seaweed.

The garden will be planted in March and will include plants such as tobacco, sweetgrass and sage, which hold medicinal and spiritual meaning in Aboriginal culture. The tobacco will be gifted to Elders, and the other plants will be used for smudging, a practice where sacred plants are burned to purify a room.

The garden was made possible through a grant from the Ministry of Advanced Education. Architek, an architectural firm that specializes in living buildings, such as living walls and roof gardens, brought the vision to life.

Visit the Aboriginal Gathering Place Nov. 30 at 10:05am, 12:05pm or 1:05pm for a tour of the new garden and refreshments.

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