Growing our Futures : community based training in Native Plant Horticulture for Aboriginal communities Mellott, C. R.; Keefer, Michael E.; Brigham, Tim
An increased demand for reclamation using native plants in British Columbia has created opportunities for stable, long-term economic opportunities in Aboriginal communities through employment in native plant horticulture. The Growing our Futures: Native Plant Horticulture training program was created collaboratively by staff at Royal Roads University, Keefer Ecological Services Ltd, West Moberly First Nations and Saulteau First Nations in order to provide training to Aboriginal communities in native plant seed collection, propagation and nursery management. The program was piloted in 2013 at Twin Sisters Native Plant Nursery located in West Moberly BC, and Tipi Mountain Native Plants located in Cranbrook, BC. Nine students from Twin Sisters nursery and seven students from Tipi Mountain nursery completed the Growing our Futures program. Following consultation with the leadership and other representatives of Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations, it was determined that Growing Our Futures should be developed for community-based delivery to support broad student participation, retention and success through enabling students to learn within their family, community and Elders support networks. In this paper, we provide an overview of the 2013 pilot year of the Growing our Futures: Native Plant Horticulture training program, discuss successes and lessons learned, and describe future directions for this program in 2014 and beyond.
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