7:36PM Mar 8, 2022
Kahehtoktha Janice Brant
Things started to happen, I guess for us in the early part of 2017 when we heard about a seed collection in the Kingston area, which is nearby that was cared for by the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul at their Motherhouse property, which was a beautiful farm. And they had been caring for a seed collection for about 20 years and prior to that the seed collection was on a farm called Firefox farm in Napanee, Ontario, also near Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. And so as we learned about these seeds, we became interested in what was happening, and began a community consultation process. So as a community, I guess, or as people interested in seeds in the community started to discuss this, what ended up happening was there was a community consultation that began. And it started in March. And there were three main meetings that discussed this concept of a seed sanctuary and this seed collection that was in need of a home or of caretakers, or guardians. What I guess happened in our group, or within within the groups of people having conversations about this was, importantly, what is a seed sanctuary? And what does all of that entail? And how, how is this? How are how are? How do we set things up to take care of a living seed collection that's normally grown out in a five to seven year cycle? And what does all of that include? And what does all that mean? And what do we need to be able to do that? And as we talked and learned about that, as a community, more people wanted to see the seed sanctuary in Kingston. And so we were able to arrange some visits with the sisters permission, because it is where they live, it's their home, and it's their gardens and, and something that they care very much about. So it was really important that we take all the all the important steps of building a relationship and communicating our ideas, and also, what we needed to understand what we were even talking about, completely when we were talking about an heirloom seed collection and a seed sanctuary. The next really big conversation that I can recall was, well what makes us a good candidate. What makes us a strong community in order to take on something as such as this. And so we really had to consider our strengths but also like our weaknesses and other things that could get in the way of of doing a good job and taking care of these seeds. And what did a commitment like that look like for us? And so those were some of the leading conversations that led up to, I guess, where we where we are now and where we are today with Kenhté:ke Seed Sanctuary and Learning Centre. This meant a lot to our people here, the seeds it's not just seeds for us it has a very spiritual significance and importance to us culturally, physically, spiritually. So the seeds and the talking about the seeds was not really taken lightly. It was taken very seriously and very respectfully.