I’m in Calgary visiting family and friends, and I’ve decided to write about a beautiful local project that brings community members together to share traditions and strengthen community relationships.
The Land of Dreams project developed as a partnership between the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS), which offers settlement and integration services for newcomers in Calgary and several other southern Alberta communities, Miskanawah, a Cree multi-service organisation, and a number of recently arrived immigrants and refugees.
Land of Dreams is a community-led urban farming initiative that brings newcomers together to connect with the land, visit, learn, share, and grow food together on a 32-acre plot of land in southeast Calgary. The idea was born in 2017, when a large number of Yazidi, Kurdish, and Syrian refugees, many with experience in agriculture back home, arrived in Calgary. 2019 marked the first growing season and involved 16 families. This video (in French with English subtitles) offers a look at the land and some of the project participants.
A key aspect of Land of Dreams is to build connections between Indigenous peoples and newcomers. In 2020, Siksika Elders, Kelly and Daphne Goodeagle led a special Land Blessing Ceremony at the garden (see image).
Image: Land of Dreams Miskanawah Elders Blessing Ceremony, CCIS annual report 2020
Catherine Fisher, blogger