CMU students collaborate with Sagana Chippewa Tribal College to create a national mammal garden

Central Michigan University stands on the ground of the Anishnaba people, and is proud to be an Indian partner of the Sagina Chippewa.

The university and the tribe have been collaborating for many years on programs, events and activities to showcase the rich history and culture of the indigenous people.

That tradition will continue on the new campus on the CMU campus.

The effort is being led by CMU junior Theresa Homsi and Eric Urbaniak, co-ordinators of Central Sustainability. And from the Sagittarius Chippewa Tribal College Student and Staff Team – Jenny Snyder, Elisa Grossman, Chian Has and Kathy Hart.

“The purpose of this garden is to serve as a symbol of ethnicity and to build a cultural bridge between our two schools,” Homsey said.

The Legend of the Three Sisters
The garden to the south of the Fabino Garden near the pond represents the legend of the three sisters.

The three sisters’ garden bean, corn and pumpkin – three plants that work together and support each other. Sister Bean adjusts nitrogen from the air, Sister supports the back of the corn plant, and Sister Squash provides a moist and healthy soil cover to prevent animal invaders with its thorny trunks.

“This is what our fathers did, and I want the three sisters to know that our fathers’ knowledge is just one example,” Hart told Tribal College Justice Program Coordinator.

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