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Something to ponder

It is crucial to acknowledge the close relationship that exists between the health of our planet’s plant life and indigenous cultures as we unite to mark International Day of Plant Health on May 12. Indigenous peoples have coexisted peacefully with the natural world for ages, having long since come to grasp the delicate balance that exists between people, plants, and the environment.

Indigenous knowledge systems, which emphasize the value of protecting ecosystems, sustaining biodiversity, and honouring the interdependence of all living things, provide priceless insights on sustainable land stewardship techniques. In addition to having their roots in cultural legacy, these traditional methods are also highly relevant in tackling modern issues including food security, habitat loss, and climate change.

Reciprocity, or the belief that people are a part of a wider web of life and have an obligation to care for and maintain the natural world, is one of the core ideas of indigenous stewardship. This philosophy directs how Indigenous nations engage with flora, encouraging behaviours that support resilience, regeneration, and an appreciation of the intrinsic worth of all living things.

Indigenous peoples have a deep reverence for plants that extends beyond their practical uses and includes spiritual, cultural, and medical aspects. Plants are revered as sacred beings that hold the knowledge of ages and are vital for sustenance, healing, and ceremonial purposes. Oral traditions have transmitted traditional knowledge about the identification, cultivation, and usage of plants, which represents a rich tapestry of ecological expertise and cultural history.

In spite of this, Indigenous groups still confront many difficulties, such as land dispossession, environmental degradation, and loss of traditional knowledge, despite their significant contributions to plant health and conservation. In order to address these urgent concerns together, it is essential that we acknowledge and respect indigenous land rights, protect indigenous sovereignty, and meaningfully collaborate with indigenous peoples.

Let’s recognize and appreciate the vital contributions made by indigenous peoples to the preservation of biodiversity and plant health on this World Day of Plant Health. Let us pledge to support conservation efforts led by Indigenous peoples, learn from their knowledge systems, and build relationships based on respect, reciprocity, and shared stewardship of our planet.

By working together, we can create a future in which ecosystems prosper, plants flourish, and all life is valued and preserved for future generations.

Volunteers needed at the Indigenous Health Centre of Tiotià:ke!

You can find the sign-up form here.


On May 2, 1670, Hudson’s Bay Company claims Rupert’s Land, an area of 3,861,400 square kilometers around Hudson Bay and on May 4, 1493, the Doctrine of Discovery was instituted.

Save the date

On this first part of May, aside from the International Day of Plant Health, there are a few International Days: on May 13 is World Migratory Bird Day, on May 15, International Day of Families and on May 16, International Day of Living Together in Peace. Let’s celebrate!

Food for thought

“The land does not belong to us. We belong to the land.” What would change if this principle were enshrined into Canadian law?

Resource: Home on Native Land, a ten-week course from Raven

A reminder

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Resources for dedication of Mohawk Bible Many Mohawk Bibles have already been delivered to individuals and communities of faith, with more on their way. The Living into Right Relations Leadership Circle has developed some ideas to help communities of faith dedicate their copies of the Mohawk Bible with respect and gratitude, including liturgical resources, video clips of Harvey Satewas Gabriel reading from the Mohawk Bible and other resources about the significance of this translation.

Download resources: Ohiatonhseratokénti, The Holy Bible in Mohawk (DOC) or (PDF)