Saugeen First Nation planting Forestry Gardens with traditional native species

June 26, 2015


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Amanda (Mandy) Hutter (C) explains the Saugeen Forest Garden to TD Bank and Tree Canada representatives
Then it's a steep descent ... ... to the flat plain

... where the view is well worth it ... the gardens are laid out in seven 'guilds' each representing the seven First Nations' sacred teachings ... love, courage, wisdom, truth, respect, honesty & humility

Mandy Hutter (L) explains the many trees being planted, incl

Then, it's a steep climb back to the top

TD Green Streets & Tree Canada present funding for the project

Saugeen Forest Garden is trying to make a difference in bridging the gap between the traditional growing and cultivation methods of the Saugeen First Nation's ancestors and the community today.

The Forest Garden started by Lori Kewaquom, Mandy Hutter and Victoria Serda o SauGreen has expanded to include a wide variety of trees and traditional medicinal plants and, thanks to TD Green Streets program, the project received a financial boost of $15,000 on Wednesday, June 24th (2015).

Several representatives from TD were taken on a tour of the gardens where Mandy Hutter and Gregg Roote explained the planting theories found in the gardens.

Mandy Hutter explains the growth of one of the many varieties of trees to TD's Steve Power (C) and Port Elgin's branch Manager Tim Edgar (R)

"We wanted to establish a sense of community," said Mandy Hutter, "so we designed the gardens into 'guilds' around the seven sacred teachings with appropriate trees in each.  We could never have achieved this without our hardworking crew of volunteers.  We are also trying to reconnect to the knowledge that the elders have with youth through the plantings and trees."

Gregg Roote and Mandy Hutter

Gregg Roote, a project leader, said that the gardens are trying new techniques and incorporating them with traditional methods.  "Mandy has introduced us to agri-forestry so that we can grow better produce for the community.  What we are doing is for the next generation and we want to get the young people involved.  We are trying to bring back to our culture what has been lost and the benefits of our hard work today will be realized by future generations."

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Donald Craig of Tree Canada tells Anthony Kaghee about pollinator bees and how to attract them

Lori Kewaquom explains that many of the plants are edible
"Most of our culture is oral in language," said Lori Kewaquom, "with very little written down.  Therefore, we are trying to learn the traditional words for the plantings and trees from our elders."

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Friday, June 26, 2015