Through diverse collaborations, conversations, art-creation, planting, archival and field research and community science, we study the relations between the conservation of native pollinators, plant knowledge, Indigenous languages and contemporary artistic practices. Our research and programming are intricately connected and they inform one another.



A Garden for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee

An inspiring and practical guide to creating beautiful habitat gardens full of life for the native rusty-patched bumblebee, by Sheila Colla and Lorraine Johnson.

peer-reviewed article

Tobacco Paper

Under the supervision of Dr. Colla, Shelby Gibson’s research paper delves with important findings on the relations between native pollinators and Hopi tobacco (Nicotiana rustica).


Give Bees a Chance

This article by Sheila Colla and Rachel Nalepa expands on the impacts of the loss and conservation of wild native pollinators.


Resilience Gardens

This article by Sheila Colla explores the concept and practice of resilience gardens  as habitats that can support native biodiversity and pollinators, increase the overall resilience of our ecosystems and help us better understand the interconnections of land, plants, insects and humans. 


Lessons from Wet’suwet’en butterflies

This article by Lisa Myers, Sheila Colla and Dana Prieto discusses the connections between recent Wet’suwet’en land claims, the work of M’ikmaw artist Mike MacDonald, and the relationships between native butterflies and plant knowledge. 

community science

Bumble Bee Watch

Visit and contribute to this collaborative effort to track and conserve North America’s bumble bees. This community science project allows you to upload photos of bumble bees, have them identified and verified by experts an help researchers locate, determine the status and conservation needs of rare and endangered populations of bumble bees.



Push the Record Button

Aesthetics of evidence in Mike MacDonald’s art practice
Article by Lisa Myers as part of Other Places: Reflections on Media Arts in Canada, edited by Deanna Bowen. See Mike MacDonald’s artist portfolio, published in the same book. 


Replanting at MSVU

Mike MacDonald’s Garden
Working in collaboration with Mount Saint Vincent University Gallery (Halifax), Lisa Myers begun a process of re-visiting and re-planting Mike MacDonald’s Butterfly Garden seeking to renew the quiet, contemplative nature of Mike’s work. June 2022.


Powerful Glow

Curated by Lisa Myers

Featuring work by Jordan Bennett, Patricia Deadman, Ursula Johnson, Mike MacDonald, Peter Morin, Luke Parnell, Archer Pechawis, Anne Riley, Fallon Simard, Becca Taylor, Art Wilson and T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss.

Robert MacLaughlin Gallery (touring)
November 26th, 2022 – April 9th, 2023


Re-Inscribing land

Mike MacDonald’s Medicine and Butterfly Gardens
Paper presented by Lisa Myers, at the Land Back: Indigenous Landscapes of Resurgence and Freedom Symposium. May 13, 2021

Miijim: Food as Relations

Hosted in 2020-21, Miijim was an online series of conversations presenting Indigenous, Black and People of Colour food scholars, growers, earthworkers, artists, curators, professors, knowledge keepers and advocates.

Planting One Another

Re-planting of Mike MacDonald’s Butterfly and Medicine Garden at the Woodland Cultural Center, Brantford, ON, and planting of a new sister garden at Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. Curated by Lisa Myers and organized by Finding Flowers. June 2019

Finding Flowers is supported by the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University,
the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council,
and the Government of Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund [NFRFE - 2018 - 00485]