Medicine Making Workshops

Join the Medicine Collective, a group of Indigenous Elders and Knowledge-Keepers in medicine making.

The Medicine Collective is a group of Indigenous Elders and Knowledge-Keepers sharing traditional teachings to reconnect and restore our relationships to lands and peoples that live on Turtle Island. We are committed to engaging with the TRC principles and in providing land-based decolonizing education that revitalizes Indigenous communities’ self-determination and protection of Indigenous medicinal ethics, policy and knowledge translation.

We acknowledge the unceded ancestral territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) peoples, whose guidance and collaboration is central to our work. Since 2009, as part of this collaboration, the Medicine Collective members have been instrumental in guiding the activities and direction of the Indigenous Health Garden ‘xwc̓ic̓əsəm the place where we grow’.

Our focus is on Intergenerational reconnecting to the land initiatives: the reclamation of plant and food as medicines. Traditional Indigenous protocols and collective learning are used to plant, gather and make ‘medicines’ for communities; especially survivors of Residential Schools and keepers of ceremony, language and culture.

Medicine Collective members aim to continue to be good relatives and many programs and land-based Indigenous initiatives have shared in the making of 'good medicine’, celebrating the generations of the ones who came before.

Workshops are limited to introductions to medicine collective ways of working with plant medicines and workshop attendees are encouraged to take formal training in professional herbology or naturopathy programs and consult with their personal physicians for any medical advice. The workshops are introductions to some Indigenous land-based ways of reconciling and decolonizing education and possible indigenization approaches.

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Members of the Medicine Collective

Elder Jeri Sparrow 

Jeri Sparrow, Sulseemiah, is from xwməθkwəyə̓ m (Musqueam) where she learned traditional knowledge about the healing properties of plants. She studies many alternative healing practices and works with Indigenous peoples to reconcile relationships through the re‐articulation of Indigenous protocol principles and policy development with Vancouver Coastal Health and at the Indigenous Health Research & Education Garden xʷc̓ic̓əsəm at UBC. She serves in an advisory capacity with many Vancouver Lower Mainland organizations and has been the Director of xwməθkwəy̓əm Sulsila velum Healing Centre House; Jeri is semi‐retired.

Alannah Young Leon

Alannah is Anishnabe Midekway and Nehiy/naw Cree from Treaty one and Treaty five territories, currently living in unceded Salish territories. She works with the Indigenous Medicine Collective in partnerships with local Indigenous Elders – Jeri Sparrow and other Indigenous Knowledge holders living in the lower mainland. They share medicinal herbal knowledge with the community, youth, and students. The work primarily takes place at the xʷc̓ic̓əsəm ‘the place of growth‘ known as the  Indigenous Health Research & Education Garden located at UBC Farm. Her doctoral work documented Indigenous Elders pedagogy in land-based health education programs in rural Manitoba.

Tonya Gomes

RCC, of Amerindian and Caribbean Black descent. Tonya works with Indigenous leadership locally, provincially and internationally to promote Indigenous land-based knowledge and wellness. She collaborates to protect and extend Indigenous health and education practices, policies and protocols. She connects Indigenous youth, families and communities with Indigenous land-based therapies for wholistic health.

Dr. Lee Brown

Dr. Lee Brown is the former Director of the Institute of Aboriginal Health in the College of Health Disciplines and the Indigenous Doctoral Program in the Department of Educational Studies at The University of British Columbia where he wrote his Doctoral Thesis entitled: Making the Classroom a Healthy Place: The Develop of Affective Competency in Aboriginal Pedagogy. He is the Co-author of The Sacred Tree, an educational curriculum based on Aboriginal values and epistemology. Lee has also contributed to the Round Lake Native Healing Centre in Vernon, BC during the last Thirty years in a number of capacities including clinical supervisor and currently as a cultural resource to the centre. He has been the keynote speaker at over one hundred Aboriginal conferences. He has been an invited to share his knowledge of culture and healing in over five hundred indigenous communities in North America.

Dr. Brown has developed a theory of holistic emotional education that is predicated upon six principles of emotional competency that arise out of his research in the area of effective education and learning. Lee also facilitates the annual Emotional Education Conference and is a co-founder of the Global Emotional Education Association. Lee is published in Academic Journals on the subject of Emotional Education including the Canadian Journal of Native Education and AlterNative: A New Zealand International Journal of Indigenous Scholarship. Lee has also served as the guest editor of the UBC Educational Leadership Journal.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Principles

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada believes that in order for Canada to flourish in the twenty-first century, reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canada must be based on the following principles.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the framework for reconciliation at all levels and across all sectors of Canadian society.

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, as the original peoples of this country and as self-determining peoples, have Treaty, constitutional, and human rights that must be recognized and respected.

Reconciliation is a process of healing of relationships that requires public truth sharing, apology, and commemoration that acknowledge and redress past harms.

Reconciliation requires constructive action on addressing the ongoing legacies of colonialism that have had destructive impacts on Aboriginal peoples’ education, cultures and languages, health, child welfare, the administration of justice, and economic opportunities and prosperity.

Reconciliation must create a more equitable and inclusive society by closing the gaps in social, health, and economic outcomes that exist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.

All Canadians, as Treaty peoples, share responsibility for establishing and maintaining mutually respectful relationships.

The perspectives and understandings of Aboriginal Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers of the ethics, concepts, and practices of reconciliation are vital to long-term reconciliation.

Supporting Aboriginal peoples’ cultural revitalization and integrating Indigenous knowledge systems, oral histories, laws, protocols, and connections to the land into the reconciliation process are essential.

Reconciliation requires political will, joint leadership, trust building, accountability, and transparency, as well as a substantial investment of resources.

Reconciliation requires sustained public education and dialogue, including youth engagement, about the history and legacy of residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal rights, as well as the historical and contemporary contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canadian society.


Last updated July 25, 2018