MYS Indigenous teaching garden takes root with Councillor's support
(Left to right) Jim Krovats, MYS Board Chair, Stephanie Zamora, Vice President of HR & Indigenous Initiatives at MYS, Councillor Sherri Rollins, Daman Morissette, MYS Cultural Advisor, & Kerri Irvin-Ross, MYS CEO, on the riverside site where MYS will soon be breaking ground with the Councilor's help.
Macdonald Youth Services is set to connect more youth and families to Indigenous culture, community, knowledge and ceremony through an innovative new riverside teaching garden that will soon be growing thanks to a $40,000 community incentive grant from Sherri Rollins, City Councillor for Fort Rouge/East Fort Garry.
Planting the Seeds of Reconciliation is a new MYS project to develop the riverbank outside the youth resource centre/emergency shelter and offices at 159 and 175 Mayfair Avenue into an Indigenous teaching area complete with sweat lodge, fire pit, bee apiary, space to build tipis, and a food and medicine garden ripe for hands-on learning. Construction will begin in July.
"Land-based programs connect people to traditional ways of knowing and being that are often central to the healing journey for Indigenous youth and families who've experienced trauma and other serious challenges," said Kerri Irvin-Ross, MYS CEO. "Cultural experiences can also help shape a stronger sense of belonging and self-awareness."
The space will invite people from within and outside the MYS community to gather, share knowledge and gain a better undertanding of Indigenous culture and history.
"To be part of helping this project grow is amazing," said Councillor Rollins. "Land-based education just makes sense and this project is perfectly aligned with furthering the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and principles of the City of Winnipeg's Indigenous Accord."
MYS looks forward to sharing more details in the coming weeks and months.