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Wellington School Grows a Special Reconciliation Garden!

June 13, 2024
Students at Wellington School with their produce from the indoor garden.

Grades 5 and 6 students at Wellington School have accomplished something remarkable- they've built a captivating new garden to delve deeper into Indigenous cultures and nurture our planet!  

Their hard work and dedication were recognized when they won a $750 prize from the prestigious 'Imagine a Canada' grant through the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, which was essential in bringing their garden idea to life.

Their teacher, Ms. Rand, is excited to share, "The garden is a living classroom where they can learn and build a personal relationship with the land and understand their role in caring for it. We have been learning from Elder Audrey and other community members and are looking forward to passing on our knowledge to younger students. We’re confident this garden will evolve into a place where we can watch students and nature thrive.” 

During the winter, the students learned how to garden and grow food in their classrooms with the help of the "Little Green Thumbs" program through Agriculture in the Classroom. This spring, they cleared all the invasive plants and built a garden bed so new, special plants could grow there.

"We are growing plants that are native here to help pollinators and insects, to build a relationship with the land, and to pass the knowledge down to younger students. We want to do it for the younger people to learn how to use the plants as medicines for smudging and teas, and to learn about why native species are so important to our habitat," said Connor, a student in Grade 5.

Elya Buckley, another Grade 5 student, shared how they learned from Indigenous people, "We learned what seeds to plant from books written by Indigenous authors, as well as teachings with our elder Audrey. We found a lot of them! After we chose what native plants we wanted to grow, we researched about them and learned their traditional names and uses."

"We are learning about how first peoples have used these plants to build a healthy habitat for many generations."

Students' excitement for this project is evident in their passion for sharing what they have learned and gained. 

Jhayd Marjorie, a Grade 5 student, added, "Our project relates to reconciliation because we are building a relationship with the land, learning from elders and community members, helping to teach people, and passing the knowledge down to younger students while working together.”

“We are all connected to the land. There is no us without the land, and we are learning how we can help the land in return. Thank you to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation for allowing us this opportunity." 


On May 31st, all students of Grades 5/6 attended the celebration of all grant recipients at the Human Rights Museum. Jay Lavallee-Constant, Connor McIvor, Elya Buckley, and Jhayd Marjorie Alido shared a 3-minute presentation about the project and how it relates to reconciliation. 

The new garden at Wellington School is a perfect example of reconcili-action. It shows how awesome kids can be when they work together to make the world a better place!

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