Over the years I have lead and contributed to many unique projects relating to Indigenous knowledges. Below is a list of a few of those projects.
As an innovator I strive to produce excellence as a contributor as well as when I lead. Are you thinking of a unique project in your community? Let me know and maybe I can support the transformation…
MINJIMDENAN (IN A STATE OF REMEMBERING) – 2018 – Present – Project Lead.
The following video introduces one of my most recent projects, an Indigenous foods scape built at rare Charitable Research Reserve.
I’ve made friends with growers, seed savers, conservationists, and edible land scape designers. I’ve carefully studied their work, and have so much more to learn. I have all of them to thank. I’d like to take ownership for awakening the spiral at minjimendan, but it does not belong to me. One of my greatest teachers, Tata Oxla’jun N’oj, in reference to his life’s work developing and studying elaborate and complex Calendar’s based on advanced mayan mathematics, once said to me, “Nada de esto es mío Andrés, nada de esto me pertenece, todo pertenece a los ancestros (None of this is mine Andrew, none of this belongs to me, it all belongs to the ancestors).” This work was gifted by the ancestors and to them it will all one day return. I choose to remember… I choose to be humbled…
Blair Outdoor Education Centre (BOEC) Habitat Restoration – 2018 – Present – Project contributor and designer.
This project occurs at the intersections of Environmental education; Sustainable local food production; Indigenous knowledge revitalization; and, habitat naturalization/restoration. All these are interconnected and intimately tied to a long term visioning.
Implementing the site plan will allow BOEC to establish Indigenous land-based practices for youth throughout the waterloo region. It has begun!
By increasing biodiversity at BOEC an enhanced environmental program can be offered. Improved habitat will attract a diversity of wildlife. Also, by implementing a sustainability plan based in Indigenous knowledges the school board increases its capacity to produce honey, fruit, nuts, and other fresh foods that can be shared within the community in need.
First Nations history and culture is being taught by Indigenous leaders and helps to foster meaningful relationships within the board. The exchange of Indigenous knowledges amongst students and staff and the revitalization of land also achieves several outcomes of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, and aligns with Canada’s commitments to the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Indigenous Collective – 2016 – Present – Co-Founder.
The Indigenous Collective is an ongoing video series that collaborates with Indigenous artists, musicians, performers, and storytellers in order to celebrate their creativity and vibrancy of life!
This project was co-founded by Sharad Khare and I in 2016. We have interviewed a number of incredible individuals and even captured the first Indigenous entrepreneurship conference in Canada.
We continue to dream new ways to grow to make the incredible stories of Indigenous leaders come alive!
PROGRAM MAJOR AT FANSHAWE COLLEGE – 2011-2014 – Co-lead.
The First Nations Studies program major at Fanshawe College was the culmination of contributions from many community members. The program was community based and made space for students to enhance their gifts and strengths. As co-developer of the First Nations studies program major at Fanshawe College, my responsibilities included community consultations with 26 organizations, 200+ community members, and regular meetings with various staff, faculty, and Elders. I Negotiated an articulation agreement with Western University.
WESTERN UNIVERSITY INDIGENOUS FOOD AND MEDICINE GARDEN – 2012-2014 – Founder.
The Indigenous Food and Medicine Garden is an outdoor space on-campus that aims to foster a welcoming and inclusive community within Western University. The vision of the garden is to promote Indigenous presence, Indigenous Knowledge exchanges, community involvement, and cross-cultural relationship building while engaging peoples in growing Indigenous organic and sustainable foods and plants for future generations. As co-founder of the the Indigenous Food and Medicine Garden at Western University my responsibilities included the following: Dedicated time to social and cultural innovation. Coordinated the help of more than 50 individual volunteers. Planted seed, maintained garden, and harvested and shared bounty with community.