Learning about the Indigeneity of maple syrup


In an effort to Indigenize curriculum and re-Indigenize a small piece of occupied Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), students, staff, and faculty from the First Peoples Centre and the Decolonization and Indigenization Studies Certificate launched the Wáhta Óshes (maple syrup) project last March to share the Indigenous roots of making maple syrup.


Ryder Cote-Nottaway, an Algonquin student, led the group in placing 10 plastic taps in the maple trees in and around the Peace Garden. During Indigenous Peoples’ Week, the organizers set up a sugar shack in the Three Sisters Garden and invited folks to learn about the history and knowledge of the maple tree, and its medicine from the Kanien’kehá ka and other First Nations in the area. The collected maple syrup and maple taffy were then handed out for the Dawson community to enjoy. 


“Our goal was to highlight that maple syrup comes from Indigenous technology and practice,” said Ben Lander, Coordinator of the Decolonization and Indigenization studies. 


While we are approaching the end of maple season, you can still stop by the Peace Garden to watch the sap flow from tap to bucket. 


To learn more about Dawson’s Certificate of Decolonization and Indigenization Studies, visit https://www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/decolonization-and-indigenization-studies/


Find out more about the First Peoples Centre at https://www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/indigenous-students-resources/first-peoples-centre/

Photo credit: Ben Lander

Last Modified: April 6, 2022