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Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

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Our connection with the environment helps us to nurture ourselves and those around us, and the Mino-Kummik community garden gives community members and Aboriginal students at Laurier’s Waterloo campus the opportunity to do just that.

Meaning good, bountiful earth in Ojibwa, the Mino-Kummik community garden is located behind the Waterloo Aboriginal Students Centre. This innovative outdoor ceremonial and teaching space is available to the entire Laurier community and showcases Aboriginal culture. It’s a place to reconnect with your Aboriginal heritage and take part in cultural activities such as elder teachings, sunrise ceremonies, drum birthings and circle teachings.

The garden has a landscaped seating area, a fire pit and access to Wi-Fi. It also features:

  • A rain and butterfly garden that directs rainwater runoff to plants, which filters through soil layers before entering the groundwater system, preventing erosion. The native plants used in this garden do not require fertilizer and are more tolerant to the local climate, soil and water conditions. They also attract local wildlife, such as birds, bees and butterflies, the latter of which promote pollination and create habitat.
  • A rainwater harvesting cistern that prevents storm-water runoff (which causes pollution and erosion), decreases burden to infrastructure, controls onsite water resources and reduces utility bills. The tank has a capacity of 2,350 litres and connects to down spouts for maximum flow. It includes a pump for easy access for campus grounds maintenance.
  • A medicinal and vegetable garden project that supports an educational and functional forum on traditional growing and cultivating practices. This garden includes yarrow, tobacco, cedar, sage, sweetgrass and three sisters, in addition to a variety of fruit and vegetable plants.

"Across the country, aboriginal people are really concerned about the environment and sustainable practices, so we were very happy when that became part of our garden, we just feel that it fits," says Jean Becker, Senior Advisor in the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives.

The garden was made possible by a large donation from Laurier’s Student Life Levy, and was created through a partnership between Laurier’s Office of Aboriginal Initiatives, the Sustainability Office, Physical Resources and REEP Green Solutions, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable living.

The garden is open for class instruction, campus group meetings or student study space. You can book the garden through the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives.


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