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PLANT PEOPLE SPEAK

Jessica Marais

Abstract


How does studying, harvesting, and healing with native wild plants reveal and deepen our own very real membership in a biotic community?  And how is this embodied ecological understanding connected to conservation?  How can a practice of the wild-harvesting of medicines, in other words, contribute to the restoration of ourselves as well as the land that holds us?  And how is such a practice to be cultivated?

I began my research into honourable and restorative wild-harvesting practices with these central questions in mind and heart, born from the knowledge that here in the Pacific Northwest, as in so many other places across the living earth, local people have documented declines in well over one hundred kinds of plant and animal species (Turner,p.135).  The disappearance of so many medicinal plants – those whose lifelines have travelled with ours for millennia – points to the deeper traumas unfolding within and among us.

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The Mystery within Knowledge