Salal: Food, Medicine and Culture of the Coast Salish Peoples

Salal, a native shade-tolerant shrub that produces little hairy berries and has a long affiliation with First Peoples as a source of food, medicine, lore, and much more. Sadly, while the salal plant has long been part of the food, medicine, and culture of Coast Salish peoples, the arrival of settlers led to the exploitation of the land, forests, and workers.
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Salmonberry: Food, Medicine, Culture - Part1

For centuries berries have been used for various reasons within many native tribes in the Pacific Northwest such as the Chehalis, Cowlitz, Lower Chinook, Makah, Quinault, Quileute, Swinomish, and the Iñupiat. Each berry has its own unique history that sometimes can be told through native legends, as seen with the salmonberry. According to storytellers in the Chinook First Nation the coyote was “instructed to place these berries in the mouth of each salmon he caught in order to ensure continued good fishing” and for that reason this berry came to be known as the Salmonberry.
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Rice Goes Wild – Minnesota’s Harvest

Growing and harvesting wheat in much of eastern Washington and western Montana has become part of the “culture of agribusiness.” Endless fields of grain planted and harvested by armies of machinery are tributes to the culture of big. On small lakes in northern Minnesota, a different kind of wheat is harvested in near silence. Every fall, the Ojibwe tribes harvest rice by hand, from canoes.
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