FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Two new greenhouses have gone up at Northern Lights College campuses in Fort St John and Dawson Creek, part of effort to grow student connections to reconciliation and food sustainability.

The greenhouses will house four sacred plants — sage, sweet grass, tobacco, and cedar — all to be used in future Indigenous ceremonies. Bruce Mackay, the college’s co-ordinator of Indigenous relations and services, says the legacy structures are vital for spiritually connecting students and staff to the land.

The greenhouses were built by trade students in the college’s carpentry program and placed on site at each campus. A tobacco harvesting ceremony was held last week in Dawson Creek, with the sacred plants now drying in the school’s indigenous gathering space.

“As in the garden, we want to plants seeds of hope and inspiration for all learners,” he said.

While the greenhouses are primarily rooted in First Nations culture and the sacred Medicine Wheel, they will also be used to grow herbs and vegetables.