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.
The garden also shows significant sages and other plants to the Sagaina Chippewa Indian tribe, Urbanak said.
Sustainable communication and environment
To bring the garden to campus, Homsi and Urbania worked with Karin Johnson, manager of CMU Greenhouse and Fabino’s garden director. Matthew Lisch, chairman of geography and environmental studies; And tribal specialist Sally Kneifen from the tribal planning department.
The Garden is the second partnership project between Central Sustainability and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, part of the CMU, part of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Cultural sustainability focuses on respecting cultural beliefs and practices, respect for heritage, and respect for identity, Urbania said.
“It’s important to bring cultural sustainability to our campus and realize that we are not all part of the same culture. We need to recognize and respect our differences, and in this way we can build a community around us. ”
Hart is important to connect CMU students with ethnic college students because they can learn from each other.
“If people are around people who help them grow and prosper, they will grow and develop,” Hart said.
A place of recognition, respect for the people
The University of Central Michigan’s beautiful ancestral lands CMU honors and recognizes the people of Anisenabe today. We acknowledge the Indigenous people of Sagina Chippewa, who have lived on this land for over 200 years.
Recognition of the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation for the region in which we live, and a way of honoring the natives who have lived and worked on the land since ancient times. It is important that we understand the long history of living on earth and want to understand our place in that history.
This story was written by University Communication Caroline Kramer.