Akiikaa provides graduate students (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous) with opportunities to learn about Indigenous Ways of Knowing from faculty, Elders, and their peers on and about the Land throughout their Master of Public Health in Indigenous Health (MPH-IH) at the University of Toronto (U of T).
The land-based experiences are intended to shift the thinking away from humans being the dominating force on Mother Earth to a quality amongst all in Creation, which includes the plants, animals, water, soil, trees, birds, fish, and air.
To provide land-based learning opportunities for MPH-IH students at U of T, Dr. Mashford-Pringle was awarded a Student Spaces Enhancement Fund Grant, which she has used to upgrade property in partnership with Hart House Farm in Caledon in 2020. The current completed renovations are displayed below.
Dr. Mashford-Pringle and Hart House Farm have applied for additional funding to build 20 "bunkies", which are small houses that house 1-2 people each and are intended to provide a COVID-19-compliant sleeping arrangement for those who wish to stay at the farm or partake in Akiikaa learning. Additionally, the sceptic system is being upgraded to potentially accommodate showers. Finally, outdoor recreation equipment and furniture are being purchased.
The following renovations were made to the Farm in 2020:
Addition of an AODA-compliant ramp:
Addition of a new, accessibility-friendly bathroom:
New flooring for living and dining rooms:
Note: New furniture is being purchased and will be installed in April 2021.