Community-based herbalism expands the concept of medicine from pharmaceutical drugs to a continuum that begins with food: it moves from passive doctor visits to activities that include gardening, harvesting, and medicine-making, and from standardized prescriptions to cultural, family, and place-based knowledge and sharing. Further, Western herbalism needs to be challenged due to its colonization of healing traditions, plants, and places, especially traditional Indigenous relationality-based stewardship. This program lays a foundation for understanding and addressing them.
Our studies draw from several disciplines including medicinal botany, community studies, cultural ecology, and Indigenous studies. We identify plants, make kitchen medicine, network with community herbalists and community gardens, and consider our own heritage traditions. We also embrace local food movements with a view to cultivating local medicine; we commit to the hard work of decolonization; and we engage with the Longhouse Ethnobotanical Garden as both resource and teacher through garden care and service learning.
To successfully participate in this hybrid program, students need a computer with reliable internet access for some class sessions on Zoom and program engagement on Canvas. The balance between on-line and in-person classes will be determined by the Covid situation at the time. On-line class sessions will be recorded for students who must occasionally miss class. Talk to faculty about your specific situation.
Students may request to enroll for an additional 4-credits of independent study or internship. For independent study, submit a plan for an average of 10 additional hours per week of work focused on a relevant question, theme or project. Fo an internship, submit a a plan that you have discussed with your prospective internship supervisor. Students with substantial background may also request to do more advanced work within the basic 8-credit enrollment and/or request to enroll for 12 credits. Contact faculty with your idea and plan.
Course Reference Numbers
botany, cultural studies, Indigenous studies, health, community studies, herbalism (clinical, herbal products, education, farming, research)
$65 for garden visits and tours, medicine-making workshop supplies, and garden tools