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Wild Edibles & Ethnobotany of Northwest Indiana
July 8 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Join Ezekiel Flannery, PhD, for a fun and practical workshop which will cover local Native American history while providing an introduction to some common local plants that have been used for food and medicine for many years.
Northwest Indiana has had documented human settlements for more than 10,000 years, yet our history books often begin in the 19th century. In this workshop, Dr. Flannery will share the results of two decades of research on the history of our region, to fill in some of the gaps. His research on food cultures, medicine and history has included oral interviews and conversations with elders of Native American and European descent, an extensive literature review, and information learned at numerous workshops, conferences and classes. The topics covered in his research are wide-ranging and include history, agriculture, herbalism, archaeology, food production and forest management techniques, indigenous science and an introduction to the Potawatomi language.
In this three-hour workshop, he will contextualize the history of our area, with a focus on the history of some of the plants which have been both cultivated and carefully managed by Native people, including the Miami and Potwatomi. In the case of our local area, the residents have always (for time immemorial) been in contact with what is today Canada and Mexico, and the Atlantic and the Pacific coasts. We can see these cultural connections through plants, like corn and squash, but also through pottery and projectiles and other such items. In this workshop, we will begin to see how the trade networks, by land and water, connected our area to the rest of the continent and beyond.
We will learn about 10 local plants (used for food, medicine and more) which connect us to the amazing agricultural centers of central Mexico and with those of the Andes in Peru. In fact, there is evidence that the Indiana Dunes, like the above-named regions, also functioned as a sophisticated scientific laboratory where numerous cultures connected and exchanged knowledge about plants, developing new, unique varieties along the way. Surprisingly, many of these delicious and nutritious plants are considered weeds in the contemporary United States. Through discussion, participants will gain a new appreciation for those (what used to be seen as pesky) plants that often emerge magically, in our lawns, parks and gardens.
In the final part of this workshop, we will go on a short walking tour where participants will learn first-hand how to identify some of our amazing local plants used for food and medicine. A worksheet will be provided that gives additional information about how to harvest and prepare these plants at home, in a respectful, sustainable way.
Registration Fee: $40 Member/$45 Non-Member
Ezekiel Flannery has a PhD in the sociology of food and nutrition focusing on indigenous sciences, intercultural communication and ethnobotany–the study of how particular people from a region use locally available plants. He has conducted research in Mexico, Peru, India and right here in Northwest Indiana. He currently researches written and oral narratives that link plants, food, medicine and spirituality. Ezekiel also enjoys cooking and gardening and has diverse garden of mostly native fruits, vegetables, grains and medicinal plants and trees in Miller, Indiana.
To request a disability-related accommodation for this event, please contact the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at email@example.com or (219) 785-5545 five days prior to the event.