January 26, 2022
St. Scholastica receives funding for Ojibwe medicine garden
St. Scholastica is poised to create its first traditional Ojibwe medicine garden thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Ordean Foundation. The garden will be free, open to the public and incorporate a variety of medicinal plants that are native to the area.
Chief diversity officer Dr. Amy Bergstrom is excited about the garden’s lasting impacts. “What a great way for us to engage in a project that involves community foundation support and the broader campus community here,” she said. “Together, we’re creating something that’s usable for everyone.”
The garden will include tobacco, sweet grass, sage and cedar. Seeds will begin their growth indoors and will be relocated to a spot on campus this spring. Bergstrom noted that Sisters of the St. Scholastica Monastery will be engaged in identifying the garden’s site location.
Some of the funding will also be used to support student workers. Bergstrom envisions students as the leaders of this project in tandem with community partners and elders from Fond du Lac Reservation and Duluth’s American Indian Community Housing Organization. “Elder community members will help us with the care of the seed, plant process, and the language and cultural practices that go into that process,” she said.
“Ultimately, the garden represents an intergenerational project, deeply rooted in who we are as Anishinaabe people and how we do things.”