Mino Kamik Medicine Wheel Garden

The Mino Kamik Medicine Wheel Garden is part of Bravery Park, located behind the Alder Street Recreation Centre in the Town of Orangeville. Creation of this garden was an important project undertaken and completed by the Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle (DCCRC).

The DCCRC is a not-for-profit Indigenous-led community organization whose mandate is to create a safe space for the restoration and revival of traditional Indigenous culture in the Dufferin County area. 

The project was more than four years in the making. It is an additional component to the healing process Bravery Park provides. The DCCRC, with the help of generous donors, constructed a medicine wheel garden for Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members to enjoy. This has brought our traditional teachings of the medicine wheel and our medicines to our home of Orangeville and created a space of peace and reflection. 

The garden is a shared community space where people can learn about Indigenous traditions, walk the circle, smudge a sacred plant or simply enjoy the Garden. The project is the result of donations of time, effort and resources by volunteers, community groups and local businesses. The garden has four raised beds that represent each of the four directions on the Medicine Wheel.  Signs in each bed explain in both English and Ojibway the important elements of each of the directions, such as colour, stage of life, sacred plants and sacred animals.  The centrepiece of the garden is the grandfather rock, brought in from Huntsville and weighing almost 500kg, which will be used for smudging by visitors and during traditional Indigenous ceremonies. While meeting the requirements of the Town of Orangeville, material was sourced with the smallest environmental footprint to support and promote sustainability. The DCCRC will maintain the garden and comply with sacred planting protocols under the supervision of Elders and a First Nations volunteer professional Indigenous gardener.

Construction started in August 2018 and was completed in November 2018. The Grand Opening and Naming Ceremony was held on June 8, 2019.  The naming ceremony was performed by our Head Elder. The name given Mino Kamik means good earth one gets in the spring. The Chief of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, Elders,  Representatives of the Town of Orangeville, Orangeville Police Services, Shelburne Police Services and County of Dufferin and all sponsors were in attendance.

Within the DCCRC, the Garden is dedicated to our member, Cathy Elliott, who was with us side-by-side until she passed away in October 2017.

DCCRC thanks the Medicine Wheel Garden Quadrant Sponsors for their generosity:

East quadrant – Town of Orangeville
South quadrant – Dufferin Child and Family Services
– County of Dufferin
West quadrant – Rotary Club of Orangeville
– Rotary Club of Orangeville Highlands
North quadrant – Whispering Pines Landscaping

DCCRC would also like to thank D&D Pools and Spas and Lee Douglas, Community Member, for their support.

MINO KAMIK Medicine Wheel Garden

Greetings from Karen Vandenberg, DCCRC Community Elder, Medicine Wheel Garden Committee Chair.

For two years the DCCRC has fundraised and built the MINO KAMIK Medicine Wheel Garden for all to visit and learn more about Anishinaabe Medicine Wheel Teachings.

The Garden has four raised beds that represent each of the 4 directions on the Medicine Wheel. These 4 DIRECTIONS, 4 COLOURS, 4 SACRED PLANTS, 4 SEASONS, 4 STAGES OF MAN, 4 BASIC ELEMENTS, 4 TIMES OF DAY and the 4 SACRED ANIMALS are as follows:

  • In the EAST Quadrant: Yellow, Tobacco, Spring, Childhood, Fire, Sunrise and the Eagle including the sacred Tobacco and Sweet Flag plant, which drummers use.
  • In the SOUTH Quadrant: Red, Cedar, Summer, Adolescence, Earth, High Noon and the Deer including the sacred Cedar and Prince’s Pine which is available year-round as a primary ache reliever.
  • In the WEST Quadrant: Black, Sage, Fall, Adult, Water, Sunset and the Buffalo including the sacred Buffalo Sage and Wild Bee Balm used as tea for colds.
  • In the NORTH Quadrant: White, Sweetgrass, Winter, Elder, Wind, Nighttime and the Bear including the sacred Sweetgrass and Wild Strawberry which is nourishing and teaches us heart.

To help you remember the Four Sacred Medicines: Starting in the East, Tobacco turns Yellow (when left outside to the elements), Cedar turns Red, Sage turns Black, and Sweetgrass turns White.

The DCCRC maintains the garden and complies with our sacred planting protocols.

When you visit you will find it is a peaceful place of reflection and contemplation for all. Mino Kamik Medicine Wheel Garden promotes engagement between our indigenous and non-indigenous cultures.

Miigwetch to all our fantastic sponsors, and our supporters.

Shown below are pictures of the Mino Kamik Medicine Wheel Garden under construction. The last six pictures show the completed garden and the garden during the official opening of Bravery Park. You can click or tap on any of these pictures to see a larger version.

2017 Ceremony for the Preparation of the Grounds

Construction begins!

Arrival of the Grandfather Rock from Huntsville.

Grandfather Rock from Huntsville put in place.

Front Row:  James Dalrymple, Reanna Wareing, Ingrid Sproxton

Back Row: Gil Sipkema, Howard Sproxton, Dave Proctor

Gil Sipkema hard at work.

Mike Baker of the Orangeville Banner newspaper.

Simran Bhamu of the Orangeville BIA.

Gil Sipkema, Deb Sipkema and Sandy Brown, future Mayor of the Town of Orangeville.

Whispering Pines Landscaping CEO Greg Wildeboer talking with Gil Sipkema.

Reanna Wareing and Tiffany Smith.

Lester Wicks.

The Medicine Wheel Garden in winter with James Dalrymple in the Northern Quadrant.

Reanna Wareing, Deb Sipkema and Lee Douglas before the official opening.

Our Head Elder and Chief at the Grand Opening and Naming Ceremony, June, 2019.

Welcoming signage, August 2021

The North Quadrant, August 2021

The East Quadrant, August 2021

The South Quadrant, August 2021

The West Quadrant, August 2021

Her Honour Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, visits the Medicine Wheel Garden on September 3, 2021

Her Honour Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and Valerie McGrady visit the Medicine Wheel Garden on September 3, 2021