A colleague and I are eager to implement a gardening program at our rural high school. The report The Learning Garden: Place-based learning for Holistic First Nations’ Community Health reflects upon how the Learning Garden Program created by the Ginoogaming and Aroland First Nations increases holistic health and experience-based knowledge of gardening, forest foods, and nutrition. It also improves community resilience in food supply.
Through a series of workshops, participants explored the values, healthfulness and sustainability of their food system options, generated traditional food maps, tended and harvested in both garden and forest settings, participated in traditional ceremonies and practices, and shared their harvested vegetables with community members.
The authors describe that, through this program, participants developed a better understanding of learning in terms of being able to adapt to place. They reconnected to traditional lands and practices, recognizing that they can provide solutions to supply and demand issues faced by mainstream food systems. This is very empowering for rural First Nation communities.
Stroink, M.L., Nelson, C.H. and McLaren, B. (2010). The Learning Garden: Place-based learning for holistic First Nations’ community. Canadian Council on Learning. Retrieved from http://www.ccl-cca.ca/pdfs/FundedResearch/Stroink-LearningGardenFullReport.pdf