Each 2014 UBC student Intern brought unique gifts and knowledge to the Indigenous Research Partnerships. Read about each of their experiences below.
Danette Jubinville – Indigenous Research and Education Garden Intern
May – August 2014
Tansi! My name is Danette Jubinville, I am of Saulteaux, Cree, German, Jewish, French and Scottish ancestry, and I have had the honour of being a guest to Coast Salish territory since birth. Currently I am in the third-year of my BA in First Nations Studies. I have been working in community gardens since 2011, and in that short time I have learned so much from the plants and the people who love them. This summer I hope to increase my knowledge and understanding of traditional medicine and food plants, my individual responsibilities to Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and how being on the land contributes to Indigenous resurgence, decolonization and feminism movements. I am very grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to seeing you in the garden!
Reflecting on my summer internship in the Indigenous Research and Education Garden, I have been feeling really humbled by the spirit of the water, that precious resource that the plants (like us) just can’t get enough of at this time of year. It seems so endlessly available to us here on the coast, and yet the future of water security is uncertain. I feel responsible to the water, and to my great-grandchildren. As Anishinaabe women, we say we are keepers of the water, and my time in the Garden has inspired me to really explore what that means.
I also feel extraordinarily thankful for the Medicine Collective. In the time I have spent in the garden with Alannah, Tonya, Jeri, and Lee, I have learned so much. The medicine making workshops are important for the health and well-being of our communities. It is beautiful to see the medicines that we grow and harvest at the Farm being distributed at ceremonies. I see that circle of love and I am so happy to be a part of it, on both sides. Standing near the tobacco always makes me feel good, and it warms me to think of that medicine from the east being grown in the shape of the Musqueam spindle whorl. The Indigenous Garden has given me many ways to think about people coming together and sharing and creating belonging, outside of the system.
This summer I found myself appreciating the concept of food as medicine. I have always understood it in my head, but it is pretty recent that I have started to understand it in my body. Growing up, I hardly ever ate organic, or local. Now that I am eating foods that I have a hand in growing, I feel better and more connected to my mind, body and spirit than ever. The plants take good care of us when we take good care of them, and this way of life is something I won’t ever give up.
Now that my internship is over I want to say thank-you to Eduardo, Hannah, Erica, the Medicine Collective, the garden volunteers, the Indigenous Initiatives, the interns, the Farm staff, and everyone else who helps keep the Farm a place for learning and growing and connecting. Chi-Miigwech for having me!
– Danette Jubinville