Ethnobotany

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?

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

QDNR 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 Reservation and may be incorporated into the updated QIR 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. Additional funding is being sought to complete the project in 2014.

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