Mohawk Seedkeepers' Earthship

The communities of the Original People's of this land have under gone many assaults. The lands, the animals, the foods, and even the people themselves are now trying to revitalize their way of life.

There has been much indigenous knowledge held by the original peoples that makes it possible to live in harmony and unity with all of creation.  Mohawk Seedkeeper Garden is currently in year 4 of a 7 year revitalization plan.  The first few years saw the gathering and planting of Haudenosaunee heritage seeds from across Mother Earth to establish a Seed Lending Library.  As this model garden continues it is necessary to build a structure to further share our indigenous knowledge.

Mohawk Seedkeeper Garden in unity with Building Better, Biotecture Planet Earth and Talking Trees are constructing an Earthship in The summer of 2018.  Our Earthship will be a self-sustained learning space that features 6 basic systems.

Thermal and solar heating and cooling: the passive solar design, incorporating a large body of well insulated thermal mass maximises solar gain, and carefully located ‘cooling tubes’ and vent boxes s generate a convection current to cool the space.

Solar (and wind) power: a customised solar array, charge controller, battery bank and inverter provide power for water pumps, lighting, and the occupants’ electricity needs. 

Water harvesting:precipitation is captured on the roof, stored in cisterns buried in the berm, and piped through a filtration bank before being pumped to showers, toilets and basins.  Used water then enters the grey water loop.

Contained sewage treatment: a grey water loop delivers water to the planter cells, which is then filtered for flushing toilets, before running out to a contained septic system and evapotranspiration bed.

Building with natural and recycled materials: rammed earth tires provide thermal mass, glass and plastic bottle bricks and cans are used for non-load bearing and partition walls and form work, adobe is used for slabs, infill and plastering where appropriate, a variety of materials can be used for insulating and general, non-organic waste is sequestered within the building.  These materials are found in abundance globally, and in most places disposal and recycling of these resources is poorly managed.

Food production: botanical cells are built along the inside of the front face of the building and plumbed into the grey water loop, providing naturally lit, temperature regulated and automatically irrigated growing space for year-round plant propagation.

The purpose of this Earthship will be a community kitchen and learning space.  We wish to share ways to prepare and serve healthy Haudenosaunee foods grown in our teaching gardens. We hope that by sharing and learning together we can revitalize the sovereignty of our communities wherever they may be.

Through our efforts we wish to attack the food related diseases which plague our communities since we have left our traditional diets. Having a building which provides for a sustainable learning centre will model alternative home construction for our communities and lead to alternative employment in our housing crisis.

A quote once said "corn raised a village" and this is true for the Haudenosaunee people.  As we have gotten away from growing our corn our communities have suffered socially, emotionally, culturally and physically.  Please donate to bring corn, our bread basket, and our traditional growing and eating practises back to our community.

Terrylynn Brant "Sera:sera"
Mohawk Nation

Build dates are set for July 12th - July 26th, 2018.  For intern opportunity information, please email [email redacted]

For more information please visit our websites

edia Coverage

Past Project Coverage
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Marianne Griffith 
Ohsweken, ON
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