Decolonizing Herbal Medicine – Canadian Herb Conference
2024 VIHG

Decolonizing Herbal Medicine

There are many efforts to bring about more awareness of our plant allies, sustainability, and guidelines for cultivation & wild harvesting, but what do we know about our relationship to the first peoples of the land that we inhabit and their relationship to those plants? Indigenous peoples from Turtle Island have a deep cultural connection to the plants for ceremony, food, medicines, clothing & other life necessities, but many of our traditional plants are being harvested before Indigenous communities can get to them. The knowledge that we have passed down to one another of locations, the rhythms of these plants, and the sacred stories that go along with it are being affected by the plants’ disappearance in those traditional areas. It’s undeniable that wildcrafted vs. cultivated brings with it a specialness in terms of connection to place and plant connection when we are the ones harvesting, but how is this related to a feeling of entitlement to our environment and that of colonialism affecting Indigenous communities and the future generations of medicine people. How can we help with preservation of traditions through responsible plant and herbal cultivation? Join in a traditional sharing and open-hearted discussion on entitlement, privilege, and colonialism in plant medicine & harvesting.

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