The Indigenous Health and Research Education Gardens at the UBC Farm received a new Musqueam name on October 3rd: xwc’ic’usum. The ceremony included the raising of a totem pole, Thunder Child, by Algonquin artist David Robinson and a marking stone was dressed with ochre and eagle down.
“We are honoured and grateful to the Musqueam to live, work and learn in their traditional territories,” said Eduardo Jovel, Director of Indigenous Research Partnerships. “For me, the significance of the ceremony is a reflection of the good intentions, purpose and relations between UBC and Musqueam people. It’s about learning to be respectful of the land and the place, and the ways we develop meaningful relationships to the land and enhance land-based teaching and pedagogies.”
The Indigenous Health Research & Education Garden (IHREG) has been based at UBC Farm since 2007. This special garden aims to serve educational and research needs related to Indigenous food sovereignty while increasing participants’ knowledge and access to traditional and non-traditional plants, including more than 40 varieties of medicinal plants. The garden is cared for by the Medicine Collective, a group of Indigenous Elders and Knowledge-keepers who lead medicine-making workshops with the community. It’s also used by the Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness program, a partnership led by the Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society, that promotes green space as a source of wellness and concrete skill development for vulnerable youth.