Senior Award Winner
For thousands of years before colonization, Indigenous ancestral knowledge has preserved, honored, and nurtured the sacredness of Mother Earth through kin-based institutions knitted together in a cosmic web of lineages and tribes (Henrich, 2020). The purpose of this grounded theory community-centered study was to examine how traditional ancestral knowledge is transmitted within community gardens in the city of Pomona, CA. Participants (N = 16) were interviewed using open-ended qualitative interviews that followed Charmaz’s (2014) constructivist grounded theory framework, in order to explore participants’ perspectives and personal experiences in possibly viewing community gardens as spaces of cultural transmission (Charmaz, 2014). Following Charmaz’s analytical steps, three key findings emerged: 1) creation of a sense of belonging and connection, as the garden transmutes into a storyteller, Eco therapist, teacher, and ancestral DNA portal; 2) the sharing and practicing of Land-based regenerative practices such as documenting medicinal plant healing properties/uses and actively striving to build decolonial relationships with the species on the Land; 3) multigenerational cross-cultural learning; specifically developmental growth for children and youth. As globalization continues, this community-based study has the long-term potential in the protection of biodiversity and restorative Land justice by analyzing how traditional ancestral knowledge is communicated across Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and non-binary low-income communities in Pomona, CA. It becomes vital to disseminate this knowledge back to community gardens members as a form of reflective feedback that will affirm the soulful work that is being done within these Pomona community garden healing spaces.
Valdivia-Jauregui, Lizbeth, "La Sagrada Medicina De La Madre Tierra: Traditional Ancestral Preservation In Pomona, CA Community Gardens" (2023). 2023 Claremont Colleges Library Undergraduate Research Award. 4.