UNB plants medicine wheel garden on campus
Species in garden traditionally used for food, medicine, aromatherapy, and ceremonies by First Nations
The University of New Brunswick has a new garden outside Marshall d'Avray Hall, which features species traditionally used for food, medicine, aromatherapy and ceremonies by First Nations people.
Children from First Nations communities across the province planted the medicine wheel garden — which includes plants such as bloodroot, sweetgrass and bush honeysuckle — at UNB's Mi'kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre.
"The project is part of a larger initiative to introduce sustainability on campus through improving the grounds and introducing native plants and making it more friendly to wildlife species," said Smith.
Elders came to watch the children do the planting. Imelda Perley, the elder in residence at the university, said children were asked to help so they could learn more about their roots.
"The children have to know these stories," said Perley. "Watching the elders watch the children planting a garden in their honour, it's very symbolic."
"You wish that hope grows. You want forgiveness, you want forgiveness to grow," said Perley.
"You want the traditional medicines that are ceremonial, so that way they'll know that there is growth happening here on campus that's acknowledging their passage from the residential schools to society today, and leave the pain behind if they can."
A statue of a salmon, made by students from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, will be placed in the middle of the garden to symbolize survivors of the residential school system coming home.