Ethnobiology: Mapping, Heirloom Species & Traditional Food Systems

My current research is on Indigenous food systems and ethobiology in the northeastern woodlands. For this research, I have been attending seed exchanges, planning and attending workshops and conferences, harvesting wild edibles, learning to weave baskets, and planting and tending campus gardens. I was previously trained in ethnobotany, seed banking, and ethnobiology/ scientific collections curation through Harvard University Herbaria, and the Millenium Seed Bank and Economic Botany Collections at Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. I'm currently working on writing about the cultural persistence and meaning of Haudenosaunee wild and heirloom food species, based upon comparing archival and contemporary sources. As part of the larger, collective life project of understanding the historical ecology and reimagining sustainable and peaceful economies of stewardship, I am currently building an Indigenous mapping project. This interactive atlas and harvesting calendar brings together ethnoecology of heirloom and wild foods, and the oral history and historical ecology of places in the northeast. The aim of this project is to enable viewers to reimagine landscapes through Indigenous knowledge, practices, and values, contributing to sustainability studies, ethnoecology, social justice, and to re-thinking peaceful cohabitation in North America. In 2015 and 2016, I planted heirloom food and medicine gardens with the First Peoples House and Santropol Roulant at McGill University. Here are some photos of learning traditional skills, harvesting wild edibles, and culturally significant plants that we grew and harvested: