The Reconciliation Gardens Project
(More Information Coming Soon)
The Reconciliation Gardens Project by Grinding Stone Collective is an initiative that aims to address the historical and ongoing issues of land theft and the forced removal of Indigenous peoples from their ancestral lands. We recognize that land acknowledgments alone are not sufficient to address the harm caused to Indigenous communities and want to facilitate more concrete action rooted in land sovereignty. This program aims to propose a tangible and practical solution that involves returning unused land to a natural state and creating native edible wild & medicinal plant gardens that are stewarded by local Indigenous communities.
Our approach is rooted in indigenous ethics, social justice, and ecological principles. We're prioritizing collaborations with institutions that have large amounts of unused grasslands, such as universities, hospitals, and government agencies, to create gardens that are ecologically sound and culturally appropriate. These institutions must show a proven commitment to reconciliation with local indigenous communities. We will work with local stewards to carefully select plants that are indigenous to the area and have traditional uses in Indigenous communities and our pollinator kin. We believe that by creating these gardens we can begin to restore the land to its natural state and create opportunities for Indigenous communities to steward ancestral lands.
Our approach is collaborative, and we aim to work closely with Indigenous communities & allies to ensure they have ownership of the gardens and receive adequate training and support to maintain them. By establishing Reconciliation Gardens, institutions can take meaningful action toward addressing past injustices, promoting ecological sustainability, and supporting Indigenous communities. We believe that this project has the potential to create a ripple effect in society, as more institutions take up the challenge of returning land to Indigenous peoples and prioritizing Indigenous knowledge and culture.
Join us in building a more sustainable and equitable future by supporting the Reconciliation Gardens project. Together, we can build a society that values Indigenous rights, environmental stewardship, and social justice.
Can we build indigenous gardens on college campuses?
Through our fellowship at Solve MIT, we were given the opportunity to work with a group of students enrolled in the 2023 Spring DUSP Indigenous Environmental Planning course led by Janelle Knox-Hayes, Gabriella Carolini, and Jacqueline Paul. We used this time and space to cultivate ideas for our Stewards initiative. We proposed the idea of having the students help us develop a framework for building a future Indigenous student-stewarded garden space on campus that can act as a point of reconciliation. Throughout the course of the semester, the students assisted with the development of a digital database of information on community mapping, mission-aligned groups and programs on campus, and necessary research needed to ensure the land is healthy. This collaboration will be ongoing and be used as a proof of concept to a growing body of evidence proving that we can repair the damage of colonization and protect our communities from the threat of climate change.
We are excited to invite you to attend a presentation on the work the students have completed this semester. Please join us Monday, May 15th to learn about the various programs they have supported this semester. We look forward to continuing this work and will report back on progress in the near future.