Here Live the Stories: Working the Land through Indigenous Knowledge

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Spring 2011

Project Description/Abstract

Chartered in 1656, Bridgewater is rich in colonial history, but lesser known are the complexities of long-standing Native American history and presence here. This grant is helping to create an Indigenous garden at the BSU community gardens land. The project involves the construction of a wetu, a traditional native dwelling, and the preparation, planting and tending of a “three-sisters” and medicinal garden. The garden and the wetu are being constructed by local Native participants. Additionally, local Native peoples will be instructed in the ways of their ancestors. This Indigenous garden is a reflection of the university’s mission and strategic plan, emphasizing diversity and inclusion and most especially, the use of our resources to support and advance culture in the region. Students and community members will be able to observe the site on a regular basis and to learn from the perspective of Native peoples about the purpose of the traditional aspects of the gardens, and the construction and maintenance of the wetu. Students can do coursework related to the construction and gardening. Traditional plants, tools, and vessels and their uses will be demonstrated and discussed. There will be onsite activities, ceremonies, and performances (drumming, meals, etc.) at which the public and the BSU community can take part in these social and learning experiences. This project will also contribute to my own research on rhetorical Indigenous bodies which I hope to pursue in presentations and publications.

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