Three Sisters Garden
The term “Three Sisters” emerged from the Kanienkehaka (Iroquois) creation myth. It was said that the earth began when Sky Woman who lived in the upper world peered through a hole in the sky and fell through to an endless sea. The animals saw her coming, so they took the soil from the bottom of the sea and spread it onto the back of a giant turtle to provide a safe place for her to land. ” This “Turtle Island” is now what we call North America. Sky Woman had become pregnant before she fell. When she landed, she gave birth to a daughter. When the daughter grew into a young woman, she also became pregnant (by the West wind). She died while giving birth to twin boys. Sky Woman buried her daughter in the “new earth.” From her grave grew three sacred plants—corn, beans, and squash. These plants provided food for her sons, and later, for all of humanity. These special gifts ensured the survival of the Iroquois people. (Source: Erney, Diana. 1996. Long live the Three Sisters. Organic Gardening. November. p.37-40)
At the Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, the Earth is our Faculty. Our garden is one of the classrooms where we practice “Mamawe Ota Askihk” (Cree for sharing life together here on Earth.) The seasonal rhythms of seeding, planting, tending, harvesting and preserving have a lot to teach. Through our cross-cultural learning events, we offer opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to learn together, from the land and from each other, how to care for and share the gifts of the land in a good way. We grow corn, beans, squash and more to feed the guests who come here to learn, to rest and to feel connected to the land.