June is National Indigenous Peoples Month and to mark the special occasion Indigenous healing gardens are now sprouting up across southern Alberta. Around 15 facilities across the South Zone of AHS will see new gardens planted including at the Chinook Regional Hospital. Video Journalist Micah Quinn was at the hospital on Monday morning and has the story on the four main plants that were put in the ground.
According to Alberta Health Services, and William Singer, the Blackfoot creator of the Naapi’s Garden and Katoyiss Seed Bank projects, sweetgrass is used in smudge as an energy food and can help treat cough, cold and fever.
Mint can be made into tea for comfort or to treat an upset stomach and sore throat.
Silver-green leaves of sage can be chewed for sore throat, and saskatoon berries are used as food and medicine, but also for tools, arrow shafts and pipe stems.
Patients and visitors can now access two of the healing gardens at the front of the Chinook Regional Hospital, along with the rooftop.
Staff, patients, Indigenous liaisons and physicians will work with site managers to create their healing gardens.
Officials with AHS told us the end result will be plants that are usable for years to come for ceremony, consumption and education, while the garden space provides a place of serenity for staff, patients and visitors to go for a source of spiritual renewal.