This project is an instructional public library program that aims to encourage exploration and sharing, all while visually engaging a young audience as they are guided through a plant-gathering scavenger hunt. The program’s content is focused on the rich Indigenous cultures of Treaty 6 Territory, particularly that of the Cree. The goal of this program is to introduce children ages 5-8 broadly to the Cree understanding of humans’ relationship with the Land. The concept of relationality flows through much of the research that was conducted on this intricate topic. Every concept is connected to another: to understand how the Cree peoples use plants in daily life is to learn about healing practices which involve the respected figure of the Healer in Cree cultures. For instructors, this program leads to introspection and an understanding of what it means to pass on traditional knowledges; for participants, it acts as an entry point to both understanding and appreciation for the Land that sustains them.
Reis Pouliot (she/her) is a second-year MLIS student at the University of lberta. She is of European settler descent and has resided in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) on Treaty 6 Territory for over two decades. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) in English from the University of Alberta. Her interests change every day, but always come back to social justice work surrounding accessibility and inclusivity.
Olesya Komarnytska (she/her) lives, studies and works on Treaty 6 territory. She is an immigrant and settler of mixed Eastern European ancestry. Currently in her second year of the MLIS program at the University of Alberta, she also holds a BA in Art History and a Diploma in Theatre Production. Before grad school, Olesya worked in creative production roles in theatre, film, and art gallery settings. She works at the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives and the University Libraries. Her professional interests are in cultural memory and heritage preservation, especially how they can be inclusively achieved in community led and based ways.
Ball, T. (2022, October 7). Indigenous ethics and protocols [PowerPoint Slides]. eClass. https://eclass.srv.ualberta.ca/
Ball, T. (2022, September 9). Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being through Storytelling [PowerPoint Slides]. eClass. https://eclass.srv.ualberta.ca/
Beaver Lake Cree history. (n.d.). Beaver Lake Cree Nation. Retrieved November 18, 2022 from https://beaverlakecreenation.ca/community/history/#:~:text=In%20Alberta%2C%20the%20Cree%20are,Lake%20as%20early%20as%201856.
Braiding sweetgrass for young adults. (n.d.). Lerner Books. Retrieved November 19, 2022 from https://lernerbooks.com/shop/show/21788.
Cressler, A. (2015, June 6). Fragaria virginiana [photograph]. Wildflower Centre. Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=45224
Hastdahl, E. (2022). Haploporus odorus [photograph]. iNaturalist. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://inaturalist.ca/taxa/464200- Haploporus-odorus/browse_photos
Luscombe, D. (n.d.). Abies balsamea [photograph]. Trees and Shrubs Online. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/abies/abies-balsamea/
Makin, J. (2012, April 12). Hierochloe odorata [photograph]. Wildflower Centre. Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://www.wildflower.org/gallery/ result.php?id_image=32895
Marles, R. J. (2012). Aboriginal plant use in Canada’s northwest boreal forest. Northern Forestry Centre.
Meennunyakaa / Blueberry patch. (n.d.). Orca Book Publishers. Retrieved November 19, 2022 from https://www.orcabook.com/Meennunyakaa-Blueberry-Patch.
Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This is how I know. (n.d.). House of Anansi. Retrieved November 19, 2022 from https://houseofanansi.com/products/mii-maanda-ezhigkendmaanh-this-is-how-i-know.
Muller, T. L. (2012, May 25). Rosa acicularis [photograph]. Wildflower Centre. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=77289
Preston, R. J. (2021, May 18). Cree. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 15, 2022 from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/cree#:~:text=The%20Cree%20participated%20in%20a,ceremonies%2C%20sweat%20lodges%20and%20more
Siha Tooskin knows the best medicine. (n.d.). Strong Nations Publishing. Retrieved November 19, 2022 from https://www.strongnations.com/store/item_display.php?i=8677&f=.
Smith, R.W. (2011, May 25). Ledum groenlandicum [photograph]. Wildflower Centre. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=32479
Smith, R.W. (2013, September 16). Abies balsamea [photograph]. Wildflower Centre. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=43988
Star chart [image]. University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved November 19, 2022, from https://artsandscience.usask.ca/news/articles/7033/Saskatoon_kids_break_the_code_of_Cree_language_in_USask_scie?fbclid=IwAR1CLk7W4ylOQQVsM WkdgyOp12WEn_Q7QuHxAwnBkRq31S 2uqRqNKJsMkw
Sus Yoo / The Bear’s Medicine. (n.d.). Orca Book Publishers. Retrieved November 19, 2022 from https://www.orcabook.com/Sus-Yoo-The-Bears-Medicine.
We all play. (n.d.). Greystone Books. Retrieved November 19, 2022 from https://greystonebooks.com/products/we-all-play.
Wild Berries [screenshot]. Simple Read Books. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.simplyreadbooks.com/book.php?book_id=108
Young, D, (2011) Aboriginal healing. In E. H. Waugh, O. Szafran, & R. A. Crutcher (Eds.). At the interface of culture and medicine (pp. 247-259). University of Alberta Press.
Young, D. (n.d.). Russell Willier picking Dryopteris carthusiana [photograph]. Future Primitive Podcasts. Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://futureprimitive.org/2016/03/a-cree-healer-speaks/
Young, D. & Rogers, R. (n.d.). Book cover [photograph]. Spiral Nature Magazine. Retrieved November 17, 2022, from https://www.spiralnature.com/reviews/cree-healer-david-young/
Young, D. E., Rogers, R. D., & Willier, R. (2015). A Cree healer and his medicine bundle : revelations of indigenous wisdom : healing plants, practices, and stories. North Atlantic Books.