Kitigay

Volunteering area: Earth

Location: Beaconia, Manitoba, Canada

Short description:

Kitigay was established as a long-term year project to revive a dormant farm and sleeping forest into a permaculture project to provide free sustenance to the region. Providing space and inspiration for people to learn and share wildlife and food growing skills; Developing an indigenous food forest; Plant ideas, food, forests, reconciling relationships, and art.

The Beaconia Research Station is an 18-acre farm on the eastern shores of Lake Winnipeg. An adjacent field has remained fallow for over 20 years. In that time the field has returned to wild prairie grasses and thistles and Beaconia Research Station sought a dedicated off-the-grid Permaculture solution to revive this land. Kitigay (the Anishinaabe phrase for “to plant”) was established as a permaculture community farm on the land, with goals of offering education programming that builds community and restores the ecosystem. The goal is to feed the community through a food forest and ensure sufficient safe drinking water for their community because the artesian wells are running dry.

Planting wild rice along rivers and marshes creates food for humans and wildlife biodiversity. Wild rice is an important cultural food for the Anishinaabe First Nations peoples. Almost 100 kg of wild rice has been planted along the Beaconia marshes and the Brokenhead River with experts. Installations of fruit trees and saskatoon bushes have begun, as well as a field of garlic.

Kitigay has also held several workshops with planting of native species, has experimented successfully with Indigenous traditional fire for land management and is renovating an old school bus to safely house heritage hens for a backyard egg business and community food security. Beekeeping and organic gardening are planned as well as traditional Indigenous tepee housing.

Kitigay works in partnership with Mino Bimaadiziwin Partnership at the University of Manitoba, Kitigay Internship Program 2021 at Brokenhead Ojibway Nation and Beaconia Research Station.

Main activities will include: 

  • In the next year, we are basically planting fruit trees which will require volunteers to tend and water them.
  • But generally, the activities would be: Taking care of water retention systems, tree planting, food growing, soil building, community building, restoration of livelihoods, regenerative entrepreneurialism, natural building, and habitat creation.

Specific information/requisites:

We offer volunteers private accommodations and basic food in exchange for planting, watering and tending to a new orchard and maintaining protections against ungulates that aim to eat the tender young trees.  

We would be able to host volunteers from May 2024 on.

More information: Kitigay Facebook