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New Indigenous medicine grounds offer 'safe, healing space' in Devon

Devon is home to new Indigenous medicine grounds.

Pimiy Ôcenas Nâtawîhowin Askiy, or Devon Healing Medicine Grounds, opened with a ceremony on Saturday.

"It's National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and we're able to gather in this safe healing space," said Mitch Wincentaylo, a Treaty relations advocate who worked on the project. "Human to human, community member to Nation member.

"We're here walking together and listening to one another … and it's nice that we can do it here at this healing grounds."

On its website, Ermineskin Cree Nation said the grounds were curated with knowledge held by the late Elder Larry Cutarm.

"He [expressed] the importance of healing and traditional medicine use, passing on teachings that everyone will be able to access through the medicine garden," it said.

The community space is a joint project between the Town of Devon and Ermineskin Cree Nation and was completed with funding from the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative.

Indigenous businesses were contracted to help construct the park.

Wincentaylo said he hopes to see the grounds used year-round for harvesting medicinal plants, healing, and hosting education and awareness programming.

"It's important that we practice education and support every day of the year," he added. "We shouldn't just be focusing on only one day.

"For change to really happen we have to focus on working together regularly."

Orange Shirt Day was marked at the new grounds Saturday, with money raised for the Ermineskin Women's Shelter. Top Stories

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