The 42nd Annual Conference of the Society of Ethnobiology in Vancouver, B.C., May 8–11, 2019
This workshop will consider edible and medicinal plants that thrive in anthropogenic habitats like garden beds, sidewalk cracks, trailheads, and just about anywhere the soil has been turned. Many such species have been categorized as weeds or invasives and are often vilified - but that view overlooks their superpowers. Those same qualities that make certain plants ‘invasive’ also allow them to thrive in stressful, climatically unstable environments. In this era of rapidly changing ecosystems and concern over endangered and over-harvested species, we appreciate these ‘weeds’ as plentiful sources of resilient, adaptable, energy-efficient food and medicine for humans and other animals. We will begin the workshop with a neighborhood plant walk to meet some of the city’s charismatic spring greens, drawing on knowledge of group participants as well as that of the facilitators. Plants we may consider include: dandelion, wild oats, milk thistle, knotweed, burdock, cleavers, teasel, St. John’s wort, and chicory. After the walk, we’ll return to the classroom to review the plants we’ve met and to talk about the basics of foraging and herbal medicine making for a home pantry or apothecary. Through hands-on and multi-sensory activities, participants will learn how to prepare common ‘weedy’ plants into medicine or food. Facilitators will provide an overview of approaches to safe and respectful plant harvests, offer suggestions for how to incorporate wild foods into the daily diet, and encourage participants to share personal experiences with gathering plants in their home habitats.
Traditional ecological knowledge is a regional phenomenon: It is often shared either among communities with a common linguistic heritage or across historically distinct communities in which contact has motivated both linguistic and cultural borrowings. Nevertheless, despite the value of comparative ethnobiology for understanding the cultural and linguistic history of autochthonous communities, regional and comparative perspectives are rare. Part of the reason is the lack of metadata standards that facilitate sharing content among separate community-based studies. Another factor is the absence of mechanisms by which virtual collaboration can be constructed so that data may be shared, analyzed, and annotated. The present workshop offers its participants the opportunity to learn about, navigate, evaluate, and participate in the future development of regionally based web portals that will use suggested preliminary metadata standards on the nomenclature, classification, and use of flora and fauna. The first such portal, based on open-source Symbiota software, is presently online and being developed for beta testing in spring 2019 (DEMCA, Documenting Ethnobiology in Mexico and Central America, http://qa.demca.sites.gettysburg.edu/). This portal and others like it will offer opportunities for both grass-roots community initiatives and academic studies to upload, manage, and control access to their data (be it text, photos, audio or video) with the goal of a shared resource for understanding traditional ecological knowledge in a regional perspective. Workshop participants are encouraged to bring their own data and discuss the portal structure and metadata standards that would best meet their needs. Please bring your own laptop. If this is a problem, contact the conference organizers.
Note: Times include a break from 12–1pm for participants to have lunch on their own.
Join accomplished weavers and instructors Chepximiya Siyam’ Janice George and Skwetsimeltxw Willard ‘Buddy’ Joseph for an introduction to traditional wool weaving techniques and traditions. Participants will use a hand-made loom to make a woven pendant with abalone embellishment and learn about the historical and cultural significance of Coast Salish weaving. http://weavinghouse.com/ . There will be a break from 12–1pm for participants to have lunch on their own.
In this half-day workshop focused on Indigenous Mapping, participants will gain hands-on technical training on Google mapping software tools. They will learn how to use these tools to facilitate an interview with a ethnobiological knowledge keeper as well as create a map visualization of ethnobiological knowledge. Online mapping tools offer new possibilities for collaboration, transparency, and easy access to and sharing of ethnobiological knowledge.
Participants will gain an overview and hands-on experience with Google My Maps. Google My Maps is a free tool - accessible to anyone with a Google account - which allows you to create your own map by adding places, photos, videos and more. You control who gets to view or edit your map.
This workshop is intended for people doing work in collaboration with Indigenous communities. Participants do not need previous mapping experience. Participants will leave with a knowledge of how to use this tool for their work, and the beginning of a mapping visualization for the area in which they work. They will also have an general understanding of other free Google tools that they might use. This workshop is hands-on to enable participants to learn by doing; therefore, each participant must bring a laptop.
There will be a break from 12–1pm for participants to have lunch on their own.
Become an urban weaver, learn the art of basketry! Put some of those invasive plants and garden clippings to good use—turn them into baskets! We’ll cover the basics of twining, one of the most fundamental techniques practiced by BC First Nations groups and European people, and make small baskets to take home. We’ll also discuss how to tell if a plant is useful for weaving, how and when to harvest, and how to process and store your weaving materials. You’ll leave with a whole new appreciation for both the basketry skills of our ancestors and the generosity of our local weeds. This beginner level workshop will cover the following:
- Basic fundamentals of twining
- Identification of plants suitable for weaving in our local bio-region
- Hands-on practice making a small basket to take home
- Discussion of how to process and store weaving materials after harvesting
- Discussion of pre-historic and historic basketry techniques
- Discussion of contemporary basket technology and commonly found store bought fibers
Instructor: Rebecca Graham https://earthand.com/author/runnawick/
Rebecca Graham is an environmental artist and weaver who specializes in creating exciting connections between ancient skills and contemporary knowledge and issues. She is the artistic director of EartHand Gleaners Society. With a background in agriculture and environmental ethics and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, her workshops reconnect people of all ages and abilities to the land in ways that aim to honour cultures, ancestors, First Nations, and the land itself. http://rebeccagraham.ca/
Participants will be able to take home the project they finish in the workshop.
Cost: $37 USD; fees include space rental, instructors fees, as well as supplies.
Time: 1 - 4 pm, Wed 8 May at the UBC Farm. http://ubcfarm.ubc.ca/contact-us/
This workshop will focus on building skills for recognizing the plant fibers and natural dyes that may be used in the traditional wool weavings of the Pacific Northwest. Stinging nettle, Urtica dioica, and dogbane hemp Apocynum cannabinum, have strong fibers which were used as the warp for weaving wool robes and tumpline straps, with dyed wool wefts used to create the woven the patterns. Participants will process their own fiber from raw materials into a small two-ply strand of cordage. We will also prepare natural dye materials from common local plants and dye wool yarn in a variety of colors. Participants can then make a small weaving using our prepared materials. The goal of this workshop is to help ethnobiologists in this field recognize and appreciate the use of these plant materials, often overlooked, in the traditional weavings of this region. Fee covers the cost of materials for fibres and dyes, and the workshop space