‘Planting the Seeds of Change: Voices of Indigenous Youth’ launches Thursday

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“Planting Seeds of Change: Voices of Indigenous Youth”, a photovoice exhibition, is now on display at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, with an opening reception to take place on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. The exhibit accompanies the launch of “Planting Seeds of Change: Voices of Indigenous Youth,” a collection of photographs and stories by Indigenous youth in Brandon and Winnipeg. The focus of the exhibit and book is on how urban community gardens contribute to holistic health of individuals and urban neighbourhoods as well as food security.

As part of the Urban Gardens Holistic Health Project, Indigenous youth between the ages of 18–29 in Brandon and Winnipeg designed, installed, and harvested demonstration gardens. They were provided cameras and asked to photograph indicators of the holistic health benefits of gardening, using the Medicine Wheel as a framework to understand the effects of gardening on their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.

“Through their photographs and storytelling, the Indigenous youth participants illuminate how gardening re-connected them with Indigenous culture and Mother Earth; nurturing spiritual and mental health,” said BU’s Dr. Kathy Moscou, project principal investigator and co-curator of the exhibit.

“A strong connection to cultural collectivism emerges through their stories of working collaboratively for the benefit of the group. Their stories about community health describe their leadership and empowerment to be change agents that ‘plant seeds of change,’” Moscou said.

The exhibit and booklet aim to expand knowledge of Indigenous perspectives and enrich public discourse about health and wellness.

The project is a collaborative research project involving Brandon University, Brandon Friendship Centre and Manitoba Métis Federation Southwest Region, and Four Arrows Regional Health Authority. It is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Project researchers are Dr. Kathy Moscou, Dr. Karen Rempel and Dr. Kim Lemky, Dr. Serena Petrella, Dr. Balfour Spence and Mr. Leon Simard.

Visitors are invited to explore the exhibit and take a complimentary copy of the book.

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