The Relationship between Plants and People: An Ethnobotanical Study in Partnership with the Muckleshoot Tribe Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.A., Anthropology) -- University of Idaho, 2016 | The purpose of this study was to document the critical roles that have existed between Coast Salish people and the plants they have depended on since time immemorial. This study documented the past, present, and future uses of three specific plants: camas (Camassia quamash L.), chocolate lily (Fritillaria camschatcensis L.), and balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea L.). The primary goal of this research was to document the resilient retention of traditional plant uses in partnership with the Muckleshoot tribe and attempted to incorporate these plants into the diets and personal gardens of people currently living within the community. Although there has been significant loss due to colonization and ecological destruction many Coast Salish people continue to develop programs that preserve their traditional lifeways. Food can be a rare unifier. It can serve as a link to cultural identity and generations past. As many indigenous communities begin to heal by returning to traditional pathways the plant people offer key teachings to help them attain these goals.

publication date

  • June 1, 2016