Kenhtè:ke Seed Sanctuary & Learning Centre
“By planting seeds in our own lands, we reinforce our connection to the land and the Seeds”.
The Kenhtè:ke Seed Sanctuary & Learning Centre (KSSLC), located in Tyendinaga is home to a 40-year-old living collection of almost 300 seed varieties. The support of the NIB Trust Fund has allowed Kenhtè:ke Seed Sanctuary to share this knowledge of food and seed sovereignty with the next generations and previous ones’ too. The gardener on-site at the KSSLC is teaching youth assistants and volunteers how to maintain the seed collection, the practice of seed saving, sorting, packaging, labelling, storage, best practices, traditional gardening techniques, what it means to grow on a rotating schedule, and sharing seeds within the collective. The lessons shared while out on the land.
This project is an ongoing cultural revitalization process for the community. The KSSLC has created an environment where community members can learn traditional Rotinonhsyón:ni cosmology, practices, protocols, and languages. Different lessons on the importance of seeds and how they are incorporated into the Creation Story of Rotinonhsyón:ni people and how they are critical to the continuance of the Onkwehonwe connection to Tyonnhéhkwen - our life sustainers. The KSSLC sharing has fostered youth learning, volunteerism, continues to connect local schools and senior groups, and provides a pathway for knowledge sharing for future generations. The outreach and training efforts that have been accomplished with the project have impacted Tyendinaga especially, and even reached other Mohawk communities like Kanehsatà:ke with online seed saving events.