Retrospective: Biodiversity at Sacred Stone Camp

This month marks three years since the founding of Sacred Stone Camp in April of 2016, on land just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, at the confluence of two important rivers. These photos were taken during Prof. Linda Black Elk’s Sitting Bull College Field Ethnobotany class in June 2016. This day we didContinue reading “Retrospective: Biodiversity at Sacred Stone Camp”

Processing Dried-out Čhaŋšáša

Oops. I let the čhaŋšáša dry out — again. Have you ever gotten so busy that you just didn’t get to processing the čhaŋšáša you harvested before the bark got all dried out? Or maybe you just forgot about a piece, and discovered the poor, dried-up stick in a corner somewhere, months later? I’ve doneContinue reading “Processing Dried-out Čhaŋšáša”

Pȟežíȟota kiŋ Hinápȟa: Spring sage, and Sage Tea

A shot from last spring: The first spring shoots of Pȟežíȟota (ceremonial sage, Artemisia ludoviciana) emerging in on the prairies of Standing Rock in late April 2018. Working with this plant over the years, I have noticed that there are certain times of the year that are better to pick it for certain uses. TheContinue reading “Pȟežíȟota kiŋ Hinápȟa: Spring sage, and Sage Tea”

Čhaŋšáša in Winter

I realized I’ve never posted a good picture of what this shrub looks like in the winter. I guess I’m usually too busy scrambling over snowbanks to get it, and trying to keep warm. I don’t usually pull out my phone, or take off my glove to memorialize the occasion. Thankfully, Sitting Bull College hasContinue reading “Čhaŋšáša in Winter”

Anishinaabe-style Čheyáka in Cree territory

Anishinaabe-style Čheyáka in Cree territory…what? This tri-national title sounds confusing: two indigenous nations, and a plant name from a third. Let me explain. Čheyáka? I always think of čheyáka as its Lakota name. I have to think a little longer to remember its scientific name…Mentha arvensis. And even longer to recall its common English name.Continue reading “Anishinaabe-style Čheyáka in Cree territory”

Prairie Turnip Impostors? Thíŋpsinla (Timpsila) vs. False Thíŋpsiŋla, and how to tell them apart

View Post Pop quiz: Which of these two plants is Thíŋpsiŋla (Prairie turnip, Pediomelum esculentum), and which is its look-alike cousin, the False Thíŋpsiŋla or Ghost Thíŋpsiŋla (Pediomelum argophyllum, Silver Scurf Pea)? Plant #1: Plant #2: **********If you guessed that #2 was the true thíŋpsila, you are correct! I should know better.I make this mistakeContinue reading “Prairie Turnip Impostors? Thíŋpsinla (Timpsila) vs. False Thíŋpsiŋla, and how to tell them apart”

Wáǧačhaŋ Wanáȟča Yúta — Eating Cottonwood Flowers

Wáǧačhaŋ wanáȟča kiŋ yáta oyákihi he? Can you eat cottonwood flowers? I’ve been working with cottonwood buds to make medicinal salves, but when I walked by our neighborhood trees and noticed that the buds had burst open to reveal these red flowers (technically called catkins, not flowers), I wondered if they were edible. I triedContinue reading “Wáǧačhaŋ Wanáȟča Yúta — Eating Cottonwood Flowers”

Čhaŋpȟáhu číkʼala (baby chokecherry plants)

I found these baby chokecherry plants poking their heads up today on my walk. I had tossed some chokecherry seeds in that area earlier this year. I don’t know if they germinated, or if these came from another source, but either way, I was glad to see them.