Background to the Project
About Asemaa Circles
Asemaa Circles is a community medicines sovereignty project based in so-called Toronto, expanding out to connect across communities through sharing and trading knowledge, seeds, and plant medicines.
Asemaa Circles distributes seeds and medicines to Indigenous, Black Indigenous, and Black community members, and offers planting and growing workshops throughout the season to support community members to grow their own ceremonial tobacco.
Asemaa Circles is focused on community access to medicines and medicine knowledges, addressing ways that settler colonialism and antiblackness have disrupted relationships with one another, with land(s) and water(s), and with all relations. And so Indigenous, Black Indigenous, and Black community members are prioritized in the planting and growing workshops, and medicines and seeds distribution.
This project emerged out of tobacco planting workshops held at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, in Sault Ste. Marie, in 2010 with Waubenoquay (Dorene Day) and Bawdwaywidun Banaise-ban (the late Edward Benton Banai). Ever since, collaborators on the project have been growing Asemaa at home, and in community.
We bring together Indigenous medicine growers and harvesters to share their experiences with growing tobaco, each year expanding our collective capacity through language learning, working with lunar cycles, and picking up responsibilities around additional plant medicines like sages and sweetgrass.