American Public Garden Association Conference 2017
Hamilton & Niagara, Ontario
June 19-23, 2017
Indigenous Plants & Traditions in the Heart of Ontario Tour
Event Type: 
Date / Time: 
Mon June, 19 - 7:45am to 5:00pm
Guest Cost: 

Experience the region’s authentic Indigenous culture and nature while exploring the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.  This tour will immerse you in the rich history and culture of the Six Nations people, as you visit the H.M. Royal Chapel of the Mohawks and Chiefswood National Historic Site.  Be captivated by Indigenous traditions while exploring the 17th Century Longhouse and Greenhouse at Kayanase.  Ignite your palate as you enjoy an interactive farm to table lunch with samples of indigenous dishes. Discover Ontario’s last remaining Carolinian forests and see rare grassland prairies, swamp lands, and a variety of plant life along the Grand River. Engage with local First Nations people while enjoying social dances and song.  Leave this tour with all senses satisfied. 

There will be opportunities to purchase local authentic arts and crafts and plants through the day if interested. We recommend you bring Canadian Currency as debit and credit are not accepted. 

Tour Highlights:

H.M Royal Chapel of the Mohawks: One of the oldest Protestant churches in Ontario, and the only Royal Chapel outside the United Kingdom. The Chapel is located along the bank of the Grand River on Six Nations land. We will have a 30 minute guided tour of the Chapel and explore the gardens and Grand River shoreline where we will view the original landing spot.

Kayanase Greenhouse: An ecological restoration and native plant and seed business. The organization focuses on restoring Mother Earth holistically through the collection of native seeds, seed processing, seed propagation, planting, monitoring and the eventual return to native biodiversity. We will have a 30-minute guided tour of the Greenhouse where we will see Native trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses and a 30-minute tour of a 17th Century Longhouse that is on site (history to be provided during tour). Attendees will have the opportunity after the tours to purchase plant stock if they would like.

Our Sustenance Community Garden: A Community Garden with a greenhouse found in Six Nations. Also the location for their Farmers Market. The garden has traditional medicinal plants, vegetables, and much more. Attendees will enjoy an interactive lunch featuring  First Nation cuisine. The menu will include 3 Sisters soup, traditional strawberry juice, and a dessert, in addition to local Canadian cuisine. The Our Sustenance team will provide attendees with the story of the 3 sisters soup and why the strawberry juice is the traditional punch. Attendees will also have access to view the Gardens and Greenhouse while on site.

Chiefswood National Historic Site: The birthplace of famed Mohawk-English poet Pauline Johnson and community Hub for Aboriginal Day and their Annual Pow Wow Festival.  We will enjoy a 30 Minute guided Tour of the Museum and then a guided tour along the Grand River Nature Trail where we will experience one of Ontario’s last remaining Carolinian forests, rare grassland prairies, swamp lands, the Grand River and variety of plant life in the area.

Participants will come back from the Trail to Chiefswood’s Pow Wow Festival Grounds for a traditional social dance from First Nations Aboriginals with their traditional regalia and drums. This performance will feature highlights from the Champion of Champions Annual Pow Wow that takes place in late July 2017.  Artisan booths will display and explain jewellery, moccasins, corn husk dolls, and pottery, all available for purchase.