“Community Based Research in Indigenous Studies” is a collaboratively taught course rooted in the philosophy of the Anishinaabeg, who have long called this territory bordering the Great Lakes home. A key component of this course involves reintroducing flora to Deshkan Ziibi, who travels through Western campus. My interest in growing and learning about these plant beings coincides with my upbringing along the Kaniatarowanneneh, which contains multitudes of relationships within the mass of biodiversity it hosts. To harbor a connection between the land and myself, my family would tell me about the relationships of beings around us, which I noticed was something I lacked when I first met Deshkan Ziibing. So, before I even established this output, I had to establish a connection with the flora present in this course – and those that surrounded them -- which I cultivated through visits to the site on which this course is conducted, caring for the seedlings, working in the surrounding garden they were present in, and conversing with my clanmother about their Kanienkeha names and stories.
The flora information compiled in this output is a contribution to the Indigenization of Western University, as a supplementary means of establishing a connection to Deshkan Ziibing. Introducing flora by name is a start to a relationship, but providing each flora’s relationship to Turtle Island invokes a deeper understanding of their individuality. By providing the flora's geographical and ethnobotanical history, we can visualize a plants’ homeland as well as their ancestral relationships to harbor new ones. By providing a visual format of the flora’s context present in this course, I hope to aid the connectedness to the land this course is pioneering.