" What a great experience and opportunity to network with others in my field while learning and sharing knowledge."
Andrew Orton, Wahkohtowin Development -
Using a two-eyed seeing approach, Natural Resources Canada National Seed Centre staff provided a week-long training program to members of Indigenous communities from across the country.
It’s no surprise that things are growing at the National Tree Seed Centre (NTSC) in Fredericton, New Brunswick. However, everything that grows isn’t green… but it is vibrant and full of life. The National Tree Seed Centre’s Indigenous Seed Collection Program (ISCP) is a growing initiative looking to create an Indigenous-led seed collection program focused on species that are of cultural, medicinal, spiritual, and economic importance to Indigenous communities.
Using a two-eyed seeing approach, Natural Resources Canada National Seed Centre staff provided a week-long training program to members of Indigenous communities from across the country. Students were provided with training in seed collection, labelling, cleaning, handling, processing, testing, and storage. Students were also treated to a tour of the tree nursery and research labs located on the NTSC property, along with presentations from experts in a variety of related fields. The group regularly came together in round table discussions to share ideas and opinions on various projects and programs underway in their respective communities. With this training, students can now engage with their community members to begin having conversations about what species are important to them or facing threats, so that they can begin to collect and store the seeds at the NTSC for future use.
With a geographically localized community seed bank, we can preserve the genetics of local flora in the event of environmental threats such as severe weather conditions or invasive species. The program also facilitates conversations between communities with similar plant species and eco-districts to share seeds and support each other. With that in mind, Wahkohtowin is looking for community members and volunteers to provide any information on species of value they wish to see protected, preserved or restored. Please reach out and help support!
Author - Andrew Orton - Resource Technician - Wahkohtowin Development