The Indigenous Teaching Garden was created over the period of July 2020 to August 2021. The central foci of the garden are the two carved structures representing Stó:lō artist Rocky LaRock, E’yies’lek modern interpretation of traditional Coast Salish carving techniques. The two carvings are separated by a winding path that leads between the two. Plantings and softscape are supported by a circular pathway with paths leading out in the four directions giving the opportunity to teach the medicine wheel. These pathways provides both structure for viewing the plants as well as a rich and beautiful landscape. All the plants are Indigenous with local Indigenous medicinal properties. The garden is organized in a way that lends itself to the pedagogical needs of teaching about the plants, their stories, and their purposes for community people. Since the opening of the garden, in an Indigenous ceremony, attended by both internal and external members of the UFV community, the space has been utilized in both formal and informal ways by student groups, classes, community groups, as well it has provided a place for reflection and contemplation for individuals.
“Showcasing carvings, benches, newly designed walkways, and Indigenous plants, UFV’s Indigenous Teaching Garden offers a peaceful and reflective spot to expand your education. Find it tucked beside the Student Union Building on Abbotsford’s campus.” – UFV Today
Carving a Space – The story of how carver Rocky LaRock E'yies'lek created new carvings out of cedar trees for our new Indigenous Teaching Garden