MĪYO ACIMOWINA ASKIY (good stories earth)

is a multi- generational, cross-cultural outdoor education project, taking place in the King George and Riversdale Community Garden in partnership with Wildsky Adventure learning.  Story Keeper Joseph Naytowhow, will work alongside myself and a group of learners aged 5-95, as we explore old European building practices of wattle and daub in new ways, informed by Indigenous storytelling and  create beautiful nature-based art.

This learner series with Hosaluk will begin April 14 – June 23 from  1pm-4 pm located on Avenue H South in the heart of Riversdale, in the King George Riversdale Community Garden. This garden sits on the historic Riversdale Lawn Bowling Club site. Join us for our 5-day Wattle and Daub building Workshop hosted by CHEP, from June 27 – July 1, 2022, when knowledge Keeper Lisa Pitzel and Elder Joseph Naytowhow, will share teachings related to the garden environment, speaking to topics like food sovereignty and stories from the earth. Please be  in touch if you would like to be a part.

Gardens are the fertile ground. They represent time, energy, growth, and natural evolution. MĪYO ACIMOWINA ASKIY (Good Stories Earth) centers around the exchange of knowledge required to build forms from wattle and daub. A project that centers around exchanges of knowledge, skills and histories between
Saskatoon residents. As participants learn the steps necessary to create from this ancient European technique, we will exchange and learn about each other’s histories and stories, along with stories from this land, Treaty 6 territory. This project is a way to understand, learn and share, deepening relationships between diverse community members. Sharing something with the other is an act of generosity and allows the other to learn.

Hosaluk will utilize the overgrown/underused garden plots and include them in our outdoor classroom environment. Access to water and tools is provided to our learners by KGRCG. Weekly, Laura will work with participants to develop skills required for wattle and daub. They will collect green wood needed for weaving thin branches into a lattice form. The mud made from wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung, and straw is mixed and then packed onto woven branches. The garden beds will become the mixing vats where learners will prepare the mud body. Learners will commit to attending every week, building skills and learning from their peers as we connect with the earth in a rich and tactile way using sensory play with mud. Through our partnership with KGRCG, our learners can deepen relationships with a diverse group of gardeners, as it puts students in touch with a broader demographic of the community.
 The 12-week learners series will empower our Wild Sky Learners to share their skills when hosting a free five-day workshop for the greater community located at CHEPS Elders Garden. Guest artist Joseph Naytowhow and Knowledge Keeper Lisa Pitzel will join us June 28 – July 1. The construction of garden screens allows for creative expression informed by the storytelling.
 Indigenous storytelling will inform the exploration of new ways of working with the ancient European practice of wattle and daub construction. This construction method dates back to Neolithic Europe. Reverence for one’s ancestors and their traditions is highly valued in Indigenous cultures. Teaching this practice is a way to connect learners of European heritage with their ancestors and is a powerful form of intercultural sharing with non-European heritage learners. The intertwining of Indigenous philosophies and storytelling with this ancient European practice will be a powerful and joyful action of Conciliation between cultures. We’re excited to see where this project leads us in all our learning.