Each 2015 UBC student Intern brought unique gifts and knowledge to the Indigenous Health Research & Education Garden and its programs. Read about some of their experiences below.
Savannah Zachary – Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness (CRUW) Program Intern
May – October 2015
Hello, My name is Savannah Zachary. I am from Kelowna in the Okanagan, and moved to Vancouver in September to work on my Masters in Community and Regional Planning with a focus on Indigenous Community Planning here at UBC. Through this program I found my interest in urban green space, and how diversity can take place in that space by reconnecting people to the land and to each other. I am very fortunate to be an intern with CRUW for this season, and working with the youth that are involved in this program. I hope to learn more about gardening and urban green space, getting youth involved in gardening and land based practices, and how planning can be part of this process to make sure these spaces are in communities, and that people have the freedom to make that space their own.
This past summer I got the privilege to work as a research intern with the Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness Program (CRUW) on the beautiful traditional territory of the Musqueam people at the UBC Farm. For eight months every over Saturday, no matter the weather we would gather with groups of youth and have a wonderful day full of learning and making memories. CRUW gave these youth, from aboriginal and non aboriginal backgrounds to an opportunity to learn about gardening, develop concrete skills and just “get out” of the city and spend a day on the farm.
Everyone looked forward to this day at the farm, for it gave all of us, CRUW staff and youth participants a change to get out of our routine and participate in new activities and workshops together. From gardening, medicine making, ceremony, cedar weaving and just being together, each session was full of growing, connecting and learning. It was wonderful to witness the change in the youth as they worked together on their gardens and learned from each other.
Aside from the days spend on the farm, I got to work behind the scenes combing through the photos, surveys and video collected the the youth produced. I really got to learn how complex research can be, and had great conversations with the youth. I felt honoured to listen to and witness their stories and was constantly humbled and inspired them. They helped me remember how different the world looks when you are 13 years old, and I will take that with me in my future work with families and youth.
CRUW and the wonderful people I got to work with added immensely to my personal and academic experience here in Vancouver, and the lessons that each of them taught me will always be in my heart. – Savannah Zachary