Bridge to the Boreal
Jennifer Nobel with Martin Millen and Dave Lundburg
This Northwoods Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge Transmission project develops a culturally appropriate setting for storytelling around the ecological value and wisdom of the transcontinental boreal forest, its dwellers, natural communities, and right relationships on a multi-acre meadow/woodland site.
A collaboration between Martin Millen (a local Anishinabe elder), Jennifer Nobel of Northbound Bloom (an ecological land design business), and DAve Lundburg of Sewn Home (a local tipi manufacturer), explores the idea of land-based learning from an ancient and existing permaculture system–the Boreal forest.
As a self-regulating, permanent ecology, not only does the Boreal Forest manage itself, but indigenous communities have been stewards of the land for thousands of years before the term ‘permaculture’ was coined. This community-based pilot project does not aim to implement alterations to a landscape as many permaculture systems do, but instead create space where visitors of all ages are empowered to engage with local traditional ecological knowledge.
Narrative Explanation of Design
See entry above.
Jennifer Nobel & Northbound Bloom
Northbound Bloom, located in Timmins, Ontario, is an ecological land design service focused on the creation of gardens with purpose. With a regenerative landscape approach, Northbound Bloom explores the areas of kitchen gardens, edible landscaping, master planning, and soil building while addressing the issues of high-priced produce, difficult access to nutrient-dense food in a northern climate, and high maintenance yard spaces.
Grounded in permaculture ethics and principles, Northbound Bloom brings a fresh perspective to the landscape service industry by designing with earth care, people care, and fair share in mind.
Owner and designer, Jennifer Nobel, has a background in architecture and design and a deep passion for health, nutritious food, and earth care. After years of struggle with digestive and gut issues, Jennifer turned to food for solutions and merged her love of design and health together to create Northbound Bloom.
Martin Millen is a descendent of the Ojibwe tribe and a member of Matachewan First Nation in Treaty 9. His passion for the Boreal Forest has fueled his efforts to bring awareness to the healing that the land and water can provide for all human beings as well as his 25-year journey along the Red Road. Martin’s expertise includes values mapping for forest management planning, archival information gathering and research, and liaising between Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, industry, and government bodies to promote clear communication and relationships. As a herbalist and traditional healer, Martin harvests plant medicines from the Boreal Forest and promotes their correct uses with community members. Martin also conducts workshops and information sessions to share his stories and experiences with land-based healing and learning.
Martin has been gifted the responsibility to carry several ceremonies, which he conducts to support the healing and reclamation of cultural heritage of people from throughout Treaty 9 territory in Northern Ontario. Most recently, Martin was made a Sundance Chief, honoured by the Elders of Northern Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba. In this role, Martin is responsible for creating the sacred healing environment for individuals who have asked to participate in this highest and most profound ceremony of the Indigenous Peoples of North America, Turtle Island. Martin is humbled by the role of the Boreal Forest in the healing of both human beings and all earth’s creatures.
Sewn Home was founded in 2016 by David Lundberg in Timmins, Ontario. Sewn Home practices and promotes environmental responsibility and is dedicated to their clients; those who work on, play on, and care for the land.