Transmission of Ethnobotanical Knowledge and Community Gardening in Moose Factory, Ontario, Canada

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 5 May, 2011 - 23:00 to Friday, 6 May, 2011 - 01:30
GILL, Harneet - Laurentian University

The relationships between plants and people among the Moose Cree of the James Bay Lowlands have been affected by centuries of European economic, religious and political influence, including the introduction of agriculture. The Cree of Moose Factory, Ontario today have fewer opportunities to learn about edible plants since people spend less time in the bush. From interviews with adults and elders I conducted during the summer of 2010, as well as historical accounts, I will discuss the ways in which ethnobotanical knowledge has been passed on or not, and how new knowledge has been incorporated into Cree life. Although gardening has largely been replaced by imported produce, the community garden we started in 2010 demonstrates how the community is seeking to renew its connections to its land through a blend of traditional and non-traditional practices. This poster also describes the garden and its potential for teaching both new and traditional skills and knowledge.