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Harvesting Sweetgrass at St. David School

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Pictured: Will Morin, Aboriginal Community Leader and Educator and Abby Middaugh, St. David Kindergarten Student

October 13, 2015 - This fall, St. David Catholic Elementary School resumed it's 2015 "Project Impact" community initiative entitled, "The Regreening of St. David School Yard with Sweetgrass". As part of the project, funded through the Coalition for a Livable Sudbury, Local First Nation artist and parent of a student of the Donovan area school, Will Morin, continued his work with the students and staff. Mr. Morin supported the school in planting sweetgrass seeds in the spring of 2015 and is now teaching the schoolbody about harvesting sweetgrass. According to Mr. Morin, "This autumn harvest season rekindles the project's plan of regreening the new school site for St. David School with native plants specifically sweetgrass, a traditional Anishnabe medicine. The growing of sweetgrass is an ongoing set a teachable moment from planting to harvesting".

During the presentation, two young female students were asked to water the plants before the sweetgrass was cut. It was explained that water is the first medicine and vital for survival of all life.
Two young boys then gave offerings of tobacco in order to give back before the students take from nature. "We have to give back to the earth. This is done to maintain balance" stated grade 4/5 student Ethan Thompson.

According to kindergarten student, Kadence Legarde, "My Papa grows sweetgrass so I can have sweet dreams." Mr. Morin's message reached all students and staff regardless of age. Prior to braiding the sweetgrass Mr. Morin demonstrated the strength of many compared to the strength of one - which echoes the value of inclusion and the importance of coming together as a community to be our strongest selves.

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