Indigenous

STEPHEN MCCOMBER

SEMENCIER ET PARTENAIRE DE FERME

Stephen Angus Mccomber, also known as Silverbear (Silverbeararts), is one of the traditional Mohawk ceremonial managers of the Mohawk Trail Longhouse in Kahnawake.  Silverbear is an award winning sculptor and recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts award (1985).  His works are part of numerous corporate and private collections, as well as in the permanent exhibit at the Pointe-à-Callière museum.  

The founder of the Haudenosaunee Seedkeeper’s group, Silverbear is known internationally as a traditional seedsaver, and keeper of traditional Iroquois seeds. Learning all his knowledge from his grandmother. He teaches on planting by the moon phases.

He has spoken about corn in conferences in Oaxaca (2012) and Yucatan (2016), Mexico.   As a respected seed elder, Silverbear has been an invited presenter at multiple conferences and events. 

​The proud grandfather of 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren, Silverbear has worked as a native elder for Corrections Canada for the past 15 years. His hobbies include model airplanes and among his heroes is the immortal Jimi Hendrix.

FRED WISEMAN

SEEDS OF RENEWAL

Professor Wiseman is an ethnobotanist, native rights advocate and Abenaki tribe member. In 2012, he launched the “Seeds of Renewal” project to encompass the full spectrum of food—from seed saving and growing to the development of a cookbook and cooking with indigenous cuisine. He has been working tirelessly to track down and reintroduce original crops and cultivation methods to Abenaki gardeners and farmers.  (Written by Lisa Matté)

JANICE BRANT
SANCTUAIRE DE SEMENCES TYENDENAGA

Ratinenhayen:thos is non-profit organization guided by members of the Mohawk of the Bay of Quinte in Tyendinaga. We established the seed sanctuary in the fall of 2018 in preparation to receive an heirloom seed collection of 277 varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers grown in a locally adapted collection for over 20 years. The seed collection was given to Ratinenhayen:thos in a Rematriation Ceremony in April 2019 by the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul in Kingston. We became candidates to be recipients of the heirloom seed collection in October 2017. Our goal is to provide a sacred space for the seeds to be grown out in a 3 to 5 year rotation in an organic and sustainable environment where we can share the skills and knowledge of seed saving practices with our youth and bring together community members of all ages on this important cultural legacy as agriculturalists and seed custodians.

OGEMA ORGANICS

Joseph Rousu is the founder and Chief Operations Officer of Ogema Organics. He is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and resident of the White Earth Reservation. He is the youngest of six siblings and was raised off of the land. From an early age, values of sustainable resource management have been instilled through seasons of traditional harvests: maple sugar production, wild rice harvests, fishing and trapping. 

Bridget Guiza is the Chief Executive Officer of Ogema Organics. She is from California and is of Mexican heritage. She was raised on the principle that food is medicine and is passionate about food, agriculture, sovereignty, and climate and environmental justice. She holds a bachelors of science in environmental science and a masters of science in planning.