Linda Black Elk Linda (Catawba Nation) is an ethnobotanist specializing in teaching about culturally important plants and their uses as food and medicine. Linda works to build curriculum and ways of thinking that will promote and protect food sovereignty, traditional plant knowledge, and environmental quality as an extension of the fight against hydraulic fracturing and the fossil fuels industry. She has written for numerous publications, and is the author of “Watoto Unyutapi”, a field guide to edible wild plants of the Dakota people. Linda is the mother to three Hunkpapa Lakota boys and is a lecturer at Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates, North Dakota. Since 2001, she has taught many courses from English, Math and Native American Studies, to Science Education and Ethnobotany. Linda also serves as the Director of Traditional Medicine at the Mni Wiconi Clinic, which is a fully integrative clinic focusing on decolonized medicine that will soon be opening on the Standing Rock Reservation.
Linda will be offering the 2018 Florida Herbal Conference keynote address and an Intensive.
Friday Night Keynote:
“Our Lives Depend on Our Relatives”
In the Western world, “family” often refers to the connection between people who are bonded by blood. For many Indigenous peoples, however, these relationships are universal; we are literally related to the Plant Nations, for example, and it is these relationships that sustain us. Now, these critical connections are under threat. How can we be good relatives in a world that forgets its first Mother?
Saturday Night Keynote with Luke Black Elk:
“The Myth of Misplaced Medicine Culture”
Discussions of traditional ecological knowledge and contemporary herbalism often refer to the knowledge of Indigenous peoples as “lost,” “forgotten,” or “misplaced.” These conversations often leave out the universally destructive impact of colonization and the creativity, resiliency, and strength of Native people in securing the future of their cultures by “going underground.” This talk will provide a timeline of Lakota genocide and it’s impact on Plant knowledge, but it will also detail strategies we use for holding on to our lifeways, and our path towards a decolonized future.
“Prairie Plants of First Nations”
The grasslands of Turtle Island once covered millions of square acres, stretching from what is now the Northern Great Plains south to Kansas and Texas and east to the Ohio River Valley. From a distance, these waving oceans of plant life seem almost barren…”just a bunch of grass.” In reality, grasslands hold some of the greatest diversity on the planet. The Plant nation’s that thrive here have sustained numerous Indigenous nations for thousands of years, providing food and medicine that still holds so much promise for people everywhere. Join us as we go on a journey of traditional medicines of the prairie, with a few sample teas for participants to try!