Reversing extinction rates, one seed at a time

October 1, 2019

Caroline Chartrand saves the seeds Métis people in southern Manitoba saved for generations. She and the volunteers who work with her keep biodiversity alive.

Caroline Chartrand

“I started wondering, what vegetables did we the Métis grow here back in the 1800s?” After doing research into just that question, she began her seed rescue mission in 1997, on a small plot of land. Since then, Caroline has saved more than 24 plant varieties from the brink of extinction.

But it’s not enough to simply save the seeds, she says. She also teaches people how to save and care for the seeds.

“It’s only by having as many gardeners and seed savers as we can saving these seeds that we’re going to be starting to reverse the rates of extinction,” she says.