Saturday, July 22, 2017


How was beargrass sustainably harvested? How was camas traditionally preserved? What plants are good medicine

for sore throats and coughs? What kind of wood makes the best canoe paddles or tool handles? Which forest plants make good snacks in the springtime?

“Cultural harvest” refers to the collection of wood (cedar, fir, spruce or hemlock), beargrass, sweetgrass or cedar bark for traditional purposes such as canoe-building, bent board work, basket weaving or carving.

Documentation of historical cultural uses of plants in the region traditionally inhabited by the Quinault Indian Nation and associated Coast Salish people is important to sustain local plant knowledge and values for future generations.

The Quinault Division of Natural Resources is coordinating a multi-year research project that will result in an illustrated booklet for tribal members: Ethnobotany in the Land of the Quinault – Culturally Important Plants and their Uses. This project will provide upcoming generations of tribal members with valuable documentation of the plant-gathering traditions of the Quinault Indian Nation so this knowledge and wisdom persist and thrive into the future. Quinault/Salish plant names will be incorporated into publications to reinforce traditional language and cultural concepts.

Ethnobotanical information will also be used to inform land-use decision-making on the Quinault Indian Nation lands and is incorporated into the updated 2017 QIN Forest Management Plan.

Grants to fund the project have been gratefully received from the National Park Service and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


For information on Ethnobotany at the Quinault Indian Nation contact the following QDNR team members at 360.276.8215:

Cultural Resource Specialist, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. x7330

Museum Archivist/Curator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. x245

Permits Office Clerk, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. x372


Helpful Information Links:

Pacific Northwest Ethnobotany

Ethnobotanical Uses of Native Plants

Plants of Washington (University of Washington)

What is Ethnobotany? (Wikipedia)

Edible Plants and Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (YouTube Video)

Clarence Pickernell

“This is my land
From the time of the first Moon till the time of the last Sun
It was given to my People
Wha-neh Wha-neh, the great giver of life, made me out of the Earth of this land
He said, ‘You are the land, and the land is you’
I take well care of this land, for I am part of it....”

-Clarence Pickernell, Taholah, WA


Quinault Division of Natural Resources Ethnobotany