Indigenous Garden

The Indigenous Garden grows on the unceded, traditional territories of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), Səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) who are the original caretakers of these lands and have been since immemorial. The Garden is for learning, reflecting, and healing. It has been created in honour of residential school survivors, intergenerational survivors, their families, and communities.

The Indigenous Garden is for all students, faculty, and staff to gather and reflect on the displacement and dispossession of the stewards of these lands that has taken place for us to be here. The Garden supports our responsibilities to remember and honour Indian Residential School survivors, intergenerational survivors, their families, and communities. It is a learning place for us to acknowledge the rich knowledge systems that have existed for thousands of years while calling us to restore and renew our relationships with mother earth. A dedicated space for Indigenous cultural activities, it is also used for the sharing of traditional knowledges and land-based practices.

The Indigenous Garden features a fire pit and a circular east-facing amphitheater for story telling, dialogue, group instruction, and Indigenous events and ceremonies. It is our hope that this space will contribute to participatory pedagogies and future understandings of Indigenous education locally, provincially, and nationally.

With Indigenous trees, bushes, and plants throughout the Garden, our intention is to incorporate Indigenous signage, murals, artwork, and carvings that enhance understanding of Indigenous languages, cultures, and histories. The names of plants, trees, and bushes will be written in both Halkomelem and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim.

This is a living document that continues to be discussed with the Indigenous Education Reconciliation Council (IERC) and are interim guiding principles that will be expanded over time.

Interactive Garden Map Coming Fall 2024

Explore plant locations, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim translations, audio stories, and more! 


Please help us protect and maintain the Indigenous Garden by observing the following:

  • Please use the space with kindness and respect.
  • No climbing, running, sports or games.
  • Please leave flowers and plants for everyone to enjoy. Do not collect or remove flowers, fruits, plants and plant labels, and please do not use the planter boxes without permission to do so.
  • Stay on pathways. Do not walk in mulched or planted garden beds.
  • No alcohol or smoking in the Indigenous Garden.

Please note that ceremonies and cultural gatherings occur in this space. Please respect the work that is taking place by observing from a distance, using a different entrance to enter the university, and by not taking any photos or videos.

We will ensure appropriate signage will be in place to indicate if there are ceremonies or gatherings taking place.

Booking the Indigenous Garden

While the garden is an open public space, during this interim period, the Faculty of Education along with the Indigenous Education Reconciliation Council (IERC) and the Office of Indigenous Education (OIE) will have priority use for events and learning opportunities. We will continue to develop the booking process over time and will open the Indigenous Garden’s for broader use following the opening ceremony.

If you have a request for use of the Indigenous Gardens that falls outside of the guiding principles, your request will be brought forward to IERC.

Booking Process

If you would like to book the Indigenous Garden, please contact the Office of Indigenous Education, at least three weeks in advance.

*Note: Use of the fire pit is restricted to OIE and Facilities staff members with specialized training and permission. A certified staff member must be on site when the fire pit is being used and follow strict safety procedures.