President Steenkamp: Growing Gratitude

With fall now in full swing, our campus is awash in vibrant reds and burnt oranges. The orchard is bursting with a fall bounty hanging heavy on our heritage apple trees – the same trees that have fed generations.

I’m so grateful for this land on which we are privileged to live, work, learn and play – a land with the potential to feed many more generations to come.

With Thanksgiving coming up this weekend (my favourite holiday), I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude, and its relationship to food, community, health and well being.

In my video this week, I speak with Assoc. Prof. Hilary Leighton who teaches in the School of Environment and SustainabilityShe joins me in the Royal Roads Walled Garden to talk about the future of food here on campus and how we can grow gratitude together by learning from Indigenous Peoples, each other and even from, as Hilary calls them, “big old teacher trees.”

I’m deeply grateful to Hilary for sharing her gifts, knowledge and expertise as co-chair of the Royal Roads Food Garden expansion project and thankful for the many others lending their time and energy towards its realization. I so look forward to the time when the food grown here on campus will find its way to many more kitchen tables across our community.