Feast Bowl
Tu’Wusht Garden

Tu’Wusht Garden

Tu’Wusht Garden

Ever since its creation in 2005, the Tu’Wusht Project (originally called the Urban Aboriginal Community Kitchen/Garden Project) has been growing and sharing food with Vancouver’s Aboriginal community. The project itself came out of an initiative of the Vancouver Native Health Society that runs programs in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) for urban Aboriginal peoples. In 2013 Coast Salish Elder Corrine Mitchell renamed it Tu’wusht which in the Tla’amin Coast Salish dialect means ‘We Belong’.

The name change truly reflects the community that works in the garden. Throughout the year, urban Aboriginal peoples, mostly youth, travel to the garden to learn and work alongside the Elders and together they grow, prepare and eat food while sharing traditional knowledge and skills. The garden helps feed a community kitchen every Tuesday where intergenerational and ‘seed to table’ learning is personally experienced, which in turn helps improve the health and wellbeing of those who participate in the project.

A teepee is used for ceremonies and celebrations such as the harvest feasts; it is an inclusive physical space that acknowledges Aboriginal people from the plains of Canada who are warmly invited to the unceded lands of the Musqueam First Nations. During these ceremonies, the traditional cedar smokehouse is used for smoking salmon and participants stay overnight at the farm to mark the seasonal shift on the land.

With a mission to “to improve and promote the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of individuals, focusing on the Aboriginal community residing in Greater Vancouver,”¬†the Tu’wusht Project continues to foster growth, knowledge, personal self-esteem, health and other deep connections that live on long after the harvest.

Other Stories from the Field

Story Credits

Special thanks to all of our story partners:

Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm: Hannah Wittman, Academic Director; Ryan Weemhoff, Sales Manager; Véronik Campbell, Academic Programs Manager; Shannon Lambie, former Communications Coordinator; Hannah Lewis, Community Education Coordinator; Jaylin Melnichuk, former Feast Bowl Intern; Clare Cullen, Operations Director; Sarah Clements, Flower Intern and Practicum Field Mentor.

Faculty of Land and Food Systems: Jennifer Honeybourn, Director, Communications; Sean Smukler, Assistant Professor; students of APBI 260 Food & Environment 1; Gabriel Maltais-Landry, Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Other: Leonard Foster, Professor, Faculty of Medicine; Stacy Friedman, Program Manager, Intergenerational Landed Learning Project, Faculty of Education; Steve Golob, Chef, Place Vanier Residence.

Special thanks to the entire staff at the UBC Farm who have appeared in any of our photographs — thank you!

Story team: UBC Communications & Marketing — Cindy Connor, Online Producer; Martin Dee, UBC Photographer; Margaret Doyle, Digital Storyteller; Paul Joseph, UBC Photographer; Michael Kam, Web Developer; Adrian Liem, Manager, Digital Communications; Laura Stobbe, Communication Designer; Mark Pilon, Communication Designer; Jamil Rhajiak, Photographer; Aida Viziru, Web Interaction Designer; Matt Warburton, Manager, Graphic Design; Mormei Zanke, Assistant Writer. Additional copywriting — David Leidl, Copy Editor. Additional video direction and editing — Lu Zhang, Editor, Video Director; Lucas Hrubizna, Editor.

Thank you: The University of British Columbia Archives