Indigenous Roots of Sustainability
The main pillars of modern-day regenerative farming practices are grounded in pre-contact Indigenous agricultural principles. Traditionally, Indigenous peoples treated the soil as a dynamic, living organism worthy of good health just like any other living being. At The Red Pony Stands®, we take a holistic approach to land, animal, and human health by adopting Indigenous regenerative farming practices to improve soil and animal well-being and by promoting decolonized nature/animal-based psychotherapy for human wellness.
We partner with other not-for-profits, community organizations, and academic institutions including the University of Regina and the University of Calgary on environmental sustainability and Indigenous species preservation projects. Ranging from regenerative gardening to nature-based therapies to animal-human relationship research, all of our sustainability projects are rooted in Indigenous ways of knowing and reflect a deep and sacred connection to the more-than-human world.
Regenerative Pasture Management
The Red Pony Stands
Animals can improve landscapes in a properly managed system. At The Red Pony Stands, we take a holistic approach to pasture management by developing creative ways to use our companion animals for invasive weed control, thereby avoiding the use of pesticides and continuing to improve soil health and biodiversity. In addition, new tree seedlings are integrated into our pastures on a yearly basis to improve farm efficiency (e.g., windbreak/shade, supplemental livestock feed), plant diversity (e.g., insect control), and pasture quality (e.g., trapping water, carbon, nitrogen, and other nutrients and minerals through mycorrhizal fungal networks).
Organic "No-Till" Gardening
The Red Pony Stands
Tillage is more likely to decrease soil carbon and damage soil structure and mircobiota. At The Red Pony Stands, we engage in permaculture and climate gardening practices that encourage the natural symbiotic relationships between organisms by integrating our companion animals (e.g., sheep, pigs) into growing operations (e.g., weed control, organic fertilization), composting, and minimizing soil disturbance. In return, our companion animals benefit from organic, home-grown fruits and vegetables, thereby improving animals health and reducing waste.
Preserving the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony
The Red Pony Stands
The Red Pony Stands specializes in the preservation of the critically endangered Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony breed by producing foals from DNA'ed genetically-matched breeding pairs. Pony pairs are selected based on (a) bloodlines (to avoid genetic bottleneck), (b) community need, and (c) other desirable characteristics (e.g., demeanour, colour, height). All DNA analysis are conducted through Texas A&M University, Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences.
Graduate course in the M.Ed. in Educational Psychology program at the University of Regina
Multiple Ways of Healing Course
University of Regina, Educational Psychology
Multiple Ways of Healing is a graduate-level course in the Educational Psychology program at the University of Regina. It situates holistic wellness and mental health within an ecological context and links human health, Indigenous culture, and the health of the natural world. Students learn the ways that human health cannot stand apart from an intimate connection with the more-than-human world.
Researching the Horse-Human Relationship
University of Regina, Education
Lead my Kelsey Moore, M.Ed. researcher under the supervision of Dr. McGinnis, narratives are gathered from Indigenous Elders and knowledge keepers on how the traditional horse-human relationship can inform the development of an Indigenous-centred equine learning/therapy program tailored for Indigenous horses and youth.
"Daughters of the Wind" Short Film
National Geographic Explorer
Daughters of the Wind is the second short film following A Hand To Stand in the Natural Connections Project. The Natural Connections Project is a multi-media education-based film series showcasing Indigenous schools using innovative teaching and learning practices to engage their students. The project celebrates all aspects of adventure education, experiential and project-based learning, cultural reconnection, environment interaction, and mentorship. Producer, Director & Filmmaker: Lindsay Marie Stewart; Funded by: National Geographic Society