Plants Have So Much to Give Us, All We Have to Do Is Ask by
Publication Date: 2015-06-22
Author writes about her years as an oshkaabewis, a traditionally trained apprentice, and as friend to the late Keewaydinoquay, an Anishinaabe medicine woman from the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan and a scholar, teacher, and practitioner in the field of native ethnobotany. Keewaydinoquay published little in her lifetime, yet Geniusz has carried on her legacy by making this body of knowledge accessible to a broader audience. Sharing the traditional stories she learned at Keewaydinoquay's side as well as stories from other American Indian traditions and her own experiences, author brings the plants to life with narratives that explain their uses, meaning, and history. Stories such as "Naanabozho and the Squeaky-Voice Plant" place the plants in cultural context and illustrate the belief in plants as cognizant beings. Covering a wide range of plants, from conifers to cattails to medicinal uses of yarrow, mullein, and dandelion, she explains how we can work with those beings to create food, simple medicines, and practical botanical tools.