Amazing seed keepers

We are so fortunate to be supported by such talented and knowledgeable people.

Stephen McComber

Stephen Angus Mccomber, also known as Silverbear (Silverbeararts), is one of the traditional Mohawk ceremonial managers of the Mohawk Trail Longhouse in Kahnawake. Silverbear is an award winning sculptor and recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts award (1985). His works are part of numerous corporate and private collections, as well as in the permanent exhibit at the Pointe-à-Callière museum. The founder of the Haudenosaunee Seedkeeper’s group, Silverbear is known internationally as a traditional seedsaver, and keeper of traditional Iroquois seeds. Learning all his knowledge from his grandmother. He teaches on planting by the moon phases. He has spoken about corn in conferences in Oaxaca (2012) and Yucatan (2016), Mexico. As a respected seed elder, Silverbear has been an invited presenter at multiple conferences and events. ​The proud grandfather of 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren, Silverbear has worked as a native elder for Corrections Canada for the past 15 years. His hobbies include model airplanes and among his heroes is the immortal Jimi Hendrix.

Janice Brant

Kenhteke seed sanctuary -
Janice Brant is Kanyanke’ha’ka (Mohawk) from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Ontario, Canada. She sits with the Bear Clan and carries on her family heritage as a dedicated farmer. She was given her Mohawk name … Kahèhtoktha … which means, “she goes the length of the garden”. As a language and culture teacher, Janice perpetuates the knowledge of the Mohawk language and traditions. She loves storytelling, art, history, and cooking. Kahèhtoktha is devoted to living in the awareness of the connection of all beings of mother earth. She is an actionist for sacred ecology and seed conservation and helped to found Ratinenhayen:thos “they are farmers of the seed” and the Kenhte:ke Seed Sanctuary & Learning Centre (KSSLC), host to a living seed collection of 300 indigenous and heirloom vegetables, herbs and flowers. As Janice Brant continues to study and practice Kanyenke’ha (Mohawk language) and culture. She shares her gifts and knowledge of the Haudenosaunee ­– The People of the Longhouse, the Iroquois Confederacy – telling of the spirituality, legends, and way of life of the longhouse through her paintings and daily life. Janice was on the board of the Ratinenhayen:thos project for 7 years as chair and a shared co-chair position to take some of the responsibilities of her 7 year mandate. Janice has been a volunteer for the International Indigenous recognition of prior learning collective (RPL) - a critical pedagogy collective that addresses the oppression of indigenous ways of learning and creating a rubric to recognizing the skill sets that are traditionally attributed to their cultures. She has now moved to a board position for the last 2 years. These skills and knowledge are then recognized in formal education setting in the settler educational institutions. This Creations of portfolios for members to share with universities to receive credit and recognize skillsets acquired.

Organizations to check out

We support the Kenhteke Seed Sanctuary in Tyendenaga Ontario. Their mission is to cultivate a sacred space to grow, preserve, and protect heirloom and Indigenous seeds in accordance with Rotinonhsyon:ni cosmology, to ensure the availability of healthy, viable seeds for our collective future generations.
Their Mission - To provide environmental leadership to the community in fulfilling our responsibilities as caretakers of our Mother the Earth. Their Vision Is based on Kanien’kehá:ka traditional values, is to promote the protection, respect and improvement of all aspects of the environment. Through awareness and community responsibility we will succeed in the restoration and preservation of our Mother Earth for the future generations.
Alnôbaiwi (which roughly translates to ‘In the Abenaki Way’) is a 501-c3 non-profit organization whose members include inter-tribal indigenous citizens, friends, and allies. We are a diverse group whose members have come together to participate in living history, song, dance, gardening, fellowship and ceremony.