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Yaffle your next project

The peace garden in Sunnyside was developed as a symbol of peace.

By Amy Tucker
Special to the Gazette

Yaffle.ca is Memorial's online connecting tool. One of its most significant jobs is to provide a way for people from outside Memorial to ask for research help. With hundreds of community-suggested opportunities to choose from, your next project is just a click away. Here's one . . .

The opportunity
A group in Sunnyside, N.L., is interested in learning more about the living history of their community.

The first recorded meeting between the English and Beothuk in Sunnyside occurred in 1612. To commemorate the meeting, the Sunnyside Heritage Association has created a peace garden.

"The garden is dedicated to the meeting between Beothuk and Europeans, but the whole thing is also dedicated to ancient people and peace between cultures," said Susan Khaladkar, deputy mayor of the town.

Ms. Khaladkar is now looking for someone who knows their stuff when it comes to traditional plants of Newfoundland and Labrador. The heritage association is planning to add some naturally occurring plants and herbs around the garden, with a focus on those that were used by the Beothuk for medicinal purposes or as food sources.

The project
The heritage association is hoping to find someone at Memorial who is knowledgeable about the traditional use of plants by the Beothuk. This person may be in the Departments of Biology or History, or possibly somewhere less expected. They would like the person to assess what plants are currently near the site that would have been used by the Beothuk. They would also like advice on whether there were other plants used by Beothuk people throughout the province that could be safely added to the garden.

"We'd also like to know what the Beothuk did with the plants," said Ms. Kaladkar. "We could incorporate signs into the garden that explain what the plants are and how they were used."

As Sunnyside is less than a two-hour drive from St. John's, this could be a perfect opportunity for a researcher to enjoy a beautiful part of the province and help a local community at the same time.

Interested in learning more about this project? Bojan Fürst, manager of knowledge mobilization at the Harris Centre, would love to tell you more. Call him at 709-864-2120 or email him at bfurst@mun.ca.

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