Vision for Piath Ket Na Naath, the Indigenous Healing Garden
To heal historical and generational trauma by strengthening our Indigenous peoples’ connection to Mother Earth through honoring our traditional stories and songs, while cultivating Indigenous plants and medicines.
We consulted with members of the Southern Ute Nation, specifically Alden Naranjo,
to name the garden in the language of the original inhabitants & care takers of this land.
Gardening as an Antidepressant
Survivors of abuse often experience depression, anxiety, PTSD, high rates of suicide, substance abuse, housing & food insecurity, and both short & long term health impacts.
Soil has been found to have similar effects on the brain as antidepressants to lift mood. A study by the University of Bristol and colleagues at University College London determined that when mice were exposed to 'friendly' bacteria normally found in soil, the soil altered their behavior in a similar way to that produced by an antidepressant.
Lead author on the paper, Dr Chris Lowry explained:
"These studies help us understand how the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining mental health. They also leave us wondering if we shouldn't all be spending more time playing in the dirt."
This space provides an outdoor meeting area to hold facilitated Women’s Education Groups in a more natural setting.
Coming together to develop the garden prevents some of the isolation many survivors experience. Gardening provides opportunity for socializing, quiet reflection, relaxation as well as cultural enrichment.
The coordination with the District 11 American Indian and Alaska Native Education Program allows for families to garden together & reinforces their bond as they all heal from trauma.