The Project Forest Cumberland House Cree Nation Food and Medicine Forest is a 9 hectare area of land located in the heart of Cumberland House Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. The Nation is situated within the ecologically sensitive Saskatchewan River Delta, North America’s largest inland river delta and a substantial underground carbon sink. Cumberland House Cree Nation is working to restore and protect this unique landscape’s myriad of ecosystem services.
In partnership with Cumberland House Cree Nation and Cumberland Wood Products, Project Forest is planting a traditional Food and Medicine Forest, re-establishing the community’s traditional plants and land use opportunities. The challenge of this site was not a lack of trees but the over-mature forest. Due to human interference, such as wildfire suppression, the forest cannot regenerate naturally. Through discussions with the community, we identified several highly-valued species that would thrive in the environment. Now, species like wild rose, raspberry, and Saskatoon are growing in Cumberland House Cree Nation once again.
Over the course of two field seasons in 2022 and 2023, Project Forest and our partners hired and trained Cumberland House Cree Nation members to plant the Food and Medicine Forest. The planting days brought out many families and generations who worked side by side, building a lasting legacy of plants that will feed, heal and strengthen their community and traditional ways of life.