UBC Farm’s Indigenous Garden selected for Canada’s Garden Hall of Fame

Student volunteers working at the Indigenous Health Research and Education Garden, UBC Farm. Photo: Olivia Szostek

Gardens Canada has selected the Indigenous Health Research and Education Garden — xʷc̓ic̓əsəm Garden — at the UBC Farm to Canada’s Garden Hall of Fame, as part of the 2000-2022 class.

The Indigenous Garden, led Dr. Eduardo Jovel, who is currently the interim director of the First Nations House of Learning until June 30, 2022, is one of 100 gardens (“100 Garden Moments of Canada”) that were selected and that go as far back as 1867.

Dr Eduardo Jovel

“The 100 Garden Moments of Canada have contributed to the development of Canada’s garden culture and its ornamental horticulture sector,” states a Gardens Canada media release announcing the selection.

“It is a big deal for the Indigenous garden,” says Dr. Jovel. “There are some big garden actors across the country and I believe we may be the only Indigenous garden on the list.”

Related: UBC Farm’s Indigenous Health and Research Education Garden gets Musqueam name

The Indigenous Garden has been based at the UBC Farm since 2007. With an emphasis on teaching, community engagement, and research, the garden aims to serve the educational and research needs related to Indigenous knowledge and its intersections with other ways of knowing and praxis. Garden Programming and initiatives are particularly focused on food security, traditional plant knowledge, and land-based pedagogies while increasing participants’ knowledge and access to both traditional and non-traditional plants uses. The garden is guided by the principle that ‘food is medicine’ and follows the research ethic framework of the “4R’s: respect, relevance, reciprocity, and responsibility” and a holistic understanding of health and healing. In addition to its international and community-based research, the garden engages with numerous regional Indigenous schools, communities, and organizations.