misaskwatomina planting day

May 26, 2018

On Saturday, May 26, more than 50 people gathered to plant 250 misaskwatomina (Saskatoon berry shrubs) as part of Kevin Wesaquate’s project for Locals Only re-indigenizing Riversdale’s ecology through the planting of native plant species. The planting took place in Victoria Park just south of Riversdale Pool, creating the beginnings of a misaskwatomina orchard where families and community members will be able to harvest berries in future years.

Locals Only youth artists: Jordan, Karden, Brianna, Meagan, and Anya. Catch these students around Riversdale this summer and check out their artwork.

The event started with a community lunch. Mayor Charlie Clark, Minister Eric Olauson, and City Counsellor Hilary Gough were among those in attendance.

Mayor Charlie Clark, Project Coordinator Michael Peterson, and some of the Locals Only youth artists chatting over lunch.

Friends from White Buffalo Youth Lodge enjoying lunch

The planting started with Elder-in-Training Carmen Blackstar offering a prayer and sharing words on the importance of misaskwatomina to indigenous cultures. Kathy Thomas of the Meewasin then taught attendees how to plant and care for misaskwatomina, and the planting started.

Kathy Thomas of the Meewasin teaching the community members how to plant and care for misaskwatomina

“When these kids are all adults, they can come back and say, “I was a part of this community; I belong to this community.” That is what we have to all build – that sense of belonging to each other.”  – Kevin Wesaquate

If you want to see the beginnings of the misaskwatomina orchard, take a walk in Victoria Park just south of Riversdale Pool by the river path behind Riversdale Pool. For more details on the project and future projects, keep checking our website for news updates and more Locals Only events.

Map of the location of the orchard can be found here.