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Douglas College plants traditional Aboriginal garden at Coquitlam Campus

Douglas College is planting a traditional Aboriginal garden today at the Coquitlam Campus.

On June 6, from 4-6pm, volunteers from the College and FortisBC – who donated $6,700 toward the project – will take the first steps in establishing the garden, which will feature plants traditionally used in Aboriginal ceremonies, such as sweet grass and tobacco, as well as Coast Salish food plants.

The garden is a joint project organized by the Douglas College Foundation, the Institute of Urban Ecology (IUE), Aboriginal Student Services and FortisBC to honour the unceded ancestral Kwikwetlem territory the College is located on and to educate staff and students about historical uses for local plants.

"The Aboriginal garden will serve as a place for people to come together – Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal – to share stories and reflect on cultural similarities, as well as to learn from each other about growing plants for food and health,” said Rob McGregor, chair of the Institute of Urban Ecology.

McGregor said that plants grown in the garden will also be used by Douglas College Aboriginal students for traditional ceremonies.

The two-hour event will include a description of the plants and their uses in traditional Aboriginal culture, as well as a blessing of the site by First Nations elder Amelia McComber at approximately 4:30pm.

"At FortisBC, we strongly support the active involvement of our employees in their communities through volunteering their time and energy toward making local communities a bright place,” said Uschi Hopping, Community and Aboriginal Relations Manager at FortisBC. “We are proud to be supporting Douglas College's Aboriginal Garden."

Contact

Robert McGregor

Chair, Institute of Urban Ecology

mcgregorr@douglascollege.ca

604 527 5237