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avatar for Celeste Smith

Celeste Smith

Cultural Seeds
Niagara Falls, Ontario

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Celeste Smith (she/her) is Oneida from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. As an intergenerational trauma survivor, she has made it her life's mission to help Women/Gender Diverse People rebuild their connections to the land and their lifeways. Celeste is a seed steward, traditional agriculturalist and former professor of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) at Niagara College. Her TEK comes from a strong connection to her family's agricultural traditions and 30 years of personal/community gardening, and she continues to educate herself through ceremony and mentorship with traditional healers and agricultural Knowledge Holders from around the world. Her current work centres around Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Land Justice and Indigenous Human Rights. She is the Founder/Director of Cultural Seeds (culturalseeds.com) an Indigenous seed store/rematriation project and Ga Gitigemi Gamik (wewillplantlodge.com) an ecological centre on a permanent Indigenous stewarded site, where women and 2SLGBTTQQIA+ persons can (RE)learn ancestral agricultural methods lost to colonization. Ga Gitigemi Gamik recently won the i3 Indigenous Innovation Challenge at the Desjardins Cooperathon which is the world's largest Social Innovation Challenge. The project has also been chosen as a Pow Wow Pitch Finalist and as a future funding recipient from the Grand Challenges Canada - Indigenous Innovations Initiative. Celeste is the current Chair of the Peel Food Action Council and is active on several National and Provincial Boards. Celeste's academic experience was at Niagara College (Social Sciences), Brock University (Poli Sci/Sociology/Indigenous Education) and she was invited to Columbia University NYC (ISHR: Institute for the Study of Human Rights) to study Indigenous Rights and Policy. She is involved with work on Land Rights issues globally.
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