Near the Althouse Education building is a small chid-care centre that is located between Althouse and main campus. Walking around the Western University neighbourhood I was able to document an array of things. The population seemed quite large, as there are 20,000+ students roaming around campus walking to and from each class. As I walked around the Western University neighbourhood I could not help but notice the wide variety of services that are located on campus for students to use. Some services are career services, programs and resources, as well as support services.
Walking around campus I began to notice the immense representation of settler colonialism… one image that caught my eye was the image of geese sitting in the middle of the Western University neighbourhood. I could not help but take a picture and think about settler colonialism as I walked by these geese having their afternoon lunch right in the middle of campus. This territory has been taken over by the mass amount of buildings and students that bombard the walkways and roads.
As I walked along campus a few images come to mind when thinking about the various presences located on campus. The Indigenous service centre provided great information about the Indigenous Food and Medicine Garden and its relevance to the campus. This presented indigenous presence at Western University. In addition, right outside the Indigenous presence I captured a photo of a crane in the sky with men working hard and long in order to build enormous buildings. This reminded me of settler presence, as it shows the growth and expansion of the land and what we use it for. Finally I added the photo of the childcare centre because it reminded me of immigrant presence. Families that move here, grow together and the young children who are our future.
After walking around throughout the Western University neighbourhood, I came back with a better understanding about Indigenous presences. It was great to see the support they have and the different things on campus that represent them. When I began to think about a provocation for a small group of young children I thought about the Indigenous Food and Medicine Garden. This was located on Western University’s main campus right beside the greenhouses. These greenhouses hold a variety of plant life and are open for public use. In addition, right outside the greenhouses and garden are multiple signs that outline a “no smoke zone.” This entire area provides such learning growth and would provide students and their families to engage with nature as well as learn about the environment and healthy living. In Wildcat’s article it is outlines that “…studying instances where we engage in conversations with the land and on the land in a physical, social and spiritual sense.” (Wildcat, 2014, p. 2) I believe that encouraging students and their families to visit the greenhouses and medicine garden would be beneficial toward their child’s learning. Maybe a possible field trip to allow parents and their children to engage with the land physically, socially, and spiritually. On our provocation we will visit the greenhouses and engage with the plant life, this will provide opportunity for children to understand the care that is needed in order for plants to survive. We can also learn about the importance of the food and medicine garden, and the presence of Indigenous culture. We can then begin to discuss the multitude of signs surrounding the garden. The use of no smoking signs and how important it is to keep our environment and ourselves healthy.
I believe that incorporating both the element of a greenhouse and the Indigenous Food and Medicine garden will allow children and their families the opportunity to explore the importance of plant life and our land. How plant life survives in a healthy environment and how we can give back to the land. This also will connect them to the Indigenous culture, as they will be able to engage with the garden and learn about its purpose.