Monastery Grounds and Gardening Expert, Sister Theresa Spinler, began working with Amy Bergstrom, Director of Diversity and Inclusivity at The College of St. Scholastica, months ago when she was approached about the possibility of a medicine garden on campus. After meetings, planning, and garden preparation this idea has come to fruition, and the garden is thriving.
On July 5, 2022 the garden was blessed and named. The celebration included a drumming by Jeremy and Jacob Wilson and a small feast of wild rice, deer meat, and berries. After the drumming, Elder and Fond du Lac Band member, Dawn LaPrairie, shared the Ojibwe name of the garden: “Minwendamoog aamoog mawadishiwewaad” which translates to “The Bees Are Happy Visiting.” LaPrairie described a dream she recently had about willow trees and bees. This dream description left Sister Theresa speechless because unbeknown to LaPrairie, the garden is actually lined with willow trees and bees have been swarming the area especially near the raspberries. LaPrairie revealed that she was moved to speak out and thus, the medicine garden was named.
Sister Theresa Spinler was presented a blanket designed by the Ojibwe. The blanket was as gift of gratitude for sharing the Sisters’ garden space and working with the Ojibwe in the garden to grow tobacco, cedar, sage, and sweet grass. Sister Theresa shared that plans are in motion to further grow the space of the garden and its presence. After receiving the blanket, Sister Theresa shared, “I am in awe of their lovely gift. It will stay in my room as a special reminder of our work and partnership.”