Band members Jesse Shade and James Quatell participated in a planting ceremony at the new Comox hospital June 23.
The event at the Comox Valley campus of the new North Island Hospital celebrated the garden of traditional plans and medicinal herbs that has been created at the Comox campus and that will be created next year at the new Campbell River hospital.
The gardens will integrate culturally relevant knowledge into a healthcare setting that supports culturally safe health care. They will create a healing and relaxing environment for patients, their families, other hospital users, and staff, as well as give community members an opportunity to learn more about traditional plants and herbs.
K’ómoks First Nation Elder Barb Whyte was a driving force and vital source of knowledge in the planning of the Gathering Place garden.
“Our plant medicines have been here for generations, to support the wellbeing of our First Nations people, and we are generous in sharing our knowledge with the community,” she said. “I’m proud to be a part of the garden that’s in front of the hospital. It’s a dream coming true, to see our plants being acknowledged for their medicinal properties.”
Jesse, James and Wei Wai Kum Councilor Marian Atkinson are members of North Island Hospital’s Aboriginal Working Group.