Plants have always been essential for human survival and well-being. We rely on them for food, materials, medicines and their spiritual values. Because plants are so important, we have given many of them special names, and have developed stories and ceremonies that highlight their special qualities. For Indigenous peoples in northern British Columbia, there is a wealth of knowledge, practice and belief around plants. The role of plants in Indigenous lifeways will be the topic of this course. Through lectures, readings, demonstrations and hands-on lab experience, the students will have an opportunity to investigate the complex role of plants in human cultures. Ethnobotany has been a subject for academic and scientific study for just over a century, but knowledge about plants goes far back in human history. In this course, we will study the integration of scientific botanical knowledge and Indigenous knowledge about plants founded in practice and tradition. Students will learn about the scientific method and the fundamentals of biology and ecology in relation to the study of plants and how Indigenous knowledge and approaches can complement academic science. (3,3,0)
Provincial English 12 or First People’s English 12 or ENGL 050 or equivalent.