The Grade 9 students of St. Michael School, Weyburn, SK who are enrolled in an Indigenous Studies course completed the construction of a Healing Garden as the 2020-21 school year came to a close. The garden was developed in honor of Okâwîmâwaskiy, Mother Earth. Thanks to funding provided through a partnership with Ecofriendly Saskatchewan and WWF Go Wild, the garden possibility came to be.
Items purchased for placement in the garden were: cedar chips for ground cover, cedar shrubs, dogwood shrubs, exterior paint, walking pavers and lumber for the construction of a bench and flower planters. The Grade 9 students built the bench and flower boxes, painted the medicine wheel, created the information signs and donor signs as well as all the digging, planting and rock placement. Extra help was provided by Grade 7 students who dug in the walking pavers.
When the garden was fully complete and opened to the students, they were very excited to be able to walk through the garden, learn about First Nation culture and enjoy nature. When the guiding teacher was explaining the garden to the students, she was very encouraged to find that so many of them already had an understanding of traditional indigenous medicines, plants and the medicine wheel. The garden will be a great enhancement for learning in the years to come.
Holy Family RCSSD #140 is grateful to our staff for providing deep learning experiences that encourage our students to understand, to value and to grow in knowledge and skill. Special thanks to Ms. Joanne McLeod for her leadership in the Indigenous Studies course.