Building a healing garden

Local artist Leah Dorion and Prince Albert Food Bank summer student Delaney Lambert (from left) build a sacred circle garden at the Co-op Community Oasis garden. (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

PA Food Bank calls on local artist to assist in construction of sacred circle

On Friday afternoon local Métis artist Leah Dorion led a group of about 15 people from the Prince Albert Food Bank and the Métis Addictions Council treatment centre in the construction of a “sacred circle” at the Co-op Community Oasis garden.

“I’ve done a lot of art in other mediums but one of my favourite ways is earth-based art,” Dorion said.

“I was invited by the PA Food Bank to do some community-based artwork in the garden and I chose to do the sacred wheel with a spiral walking path as part of the Indigenous section of the garden that’s been set aside for Indigenous cultural programming, so I’m really honoured today.”

Dorion said the round garden will eventually include plants that are indigenous to the province and reflect the needs of the community. The first plant to go into the dirt was tobacco, placed at the walkway’s entrance.

“Tobacco is such an important prayer plant. It is a plant that begins everything for us. It takes our prayer to the Creator,” said Dorion, adding that she is hoping to teach others about the plant’s traditional usage.

“These are all organic seeds that have been traded with our First Nations from the east, so we’re reclaiming our seeds, we’re trying to go organic and we’re educating at the same time.”

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