Tenants of Foraging & Indigenous Ethnobotany
It is said that the plants and animals of our land were here long before us and prepared the world for the Salish people. Other plants were revealed to us by animals and were offered as gifts. We show our gratitude and thanks every day for our plant relatives that sustained us and we encourage their return by engaging in these central tenants when gathering.
*Please do not eat a plant unless you are 110% certain of what it is. Try going with someone who knows or do LOTS of research (that's what I did)
Honor Our Roots
As Salish people our roots run deep. We are connected to the animals, plants and people before us. Our language, culture and traditional teachings still exist today. We honor our roots by taking care of all the beings that live here and carrying on our traditional ways so that they both may live on. This can look like speaking to the plant in Salish, cooking a traditional meal, or just interacting with the outdoors.
Greet with Gratitude
Even after all this time, our plants return year after year. Our society has greatly changed but our land and the things it teaches us remains. We are lucky and we are thankful. Every year we greet our plant relatives with excitement, graciousness, love and respect so that they will continue to return. This can look different to many people! I like to bring dried tobacco, sage, and/or cedar as an offering to the plants that nurture us but please do it in a way that makes sense for you!
Interconnectedness of Everything
Throughout history, our understanding of the world has been largely shaped by the natural environment. Every living thing has a purpose and is intertwined with others. Thus, our plants are not just a singular thing; they are connected to the earth, water, sun, and animals. In our engagements with plants we must remember that we enact change on all those connections.
Respect The Land
All of our teachings remind us of mutual respect and gratuity. That if we take care of the land it takes care of us. That means cleaning up after yourself, carefully choosing spots to forage, limiting damage to an area and always giving thanks.
*Before you forage anywhere please research local, federal, state, or tribal foraging policies.
Take What You Need
Because a lot of our traditional food plants are also utilized by other animals its important to only take what you need from an area (or multiple areas). This assures there's food for the others and it doesn't overharvest one area which harms its ability to regrow.
Healthy Habits for the Next Generation
All of our food plant engagements whether its observing, foraging, processing, cooking, or sharing provide social, cultural, emotional, and physical benefits for our body and mind. However small it may be, when we learn and engage with our plant relatives it helps us become healthier, culturally-rich people. I hope that through this site, we can cultivate healthy, healing, and loving relationships with ourselves and the plants that sustain us.