John Cree, a retired Kanehsata’kehró:non, grows corn, beans, squash, and other traditional foods on the land he inherited from his grandfather. He grows and uses traditional medicines, too.
This year, he had a problem. He had to plough his fields, but his tractor was broken. Fortunately, he was nominated by someone – his granddaughter, he thinks – to receive help to fix it from The Medicine Box Foundation, a year-old initiative by the Kanesatake cannabis dispensary.
“I wouldn’t have been able to put a garden in if they didn’t give me a hand,” said Cree. “It was nice of them.”
Last October, The Medicine Box first announced its desire to give back to the community in Kanesatake, posting on its Facebook page that it was accepting nominations from people in need or their family members. Ever since, it has donated up to $2,000 monthly – $500 per recipient – all of which comes from the store’s sales.
The initiative has evolved since then, now targeting different segments of the community each month in hopes of attracting more nominations. In April, for instance, the store asked for nominations for students and teachers in recognition of a difficult year for schools.