|Native Plants - General
Garden of Native Prairie Plants Botany and
by Penny Dodd & Marion Jankunis
The Garden of Native Prairie Plants is a cooperative project between
the Lethbridge & District Horticultural Society, Galt Museum &
Archives and Alberta Native Plant Council.
From the earliest times, people have sought out plants for medicinal
purposes. Perhaps less spiritual, but no less inquisitive and
experimental, gardeners and gatherers from across the ages have
dedicated much of their lives to finding plants that could be used for
food, clothing, shelter and ornament. Certainly, nomadic people
depended on the plants they could find in order to sustain themselves.
Over the past twenty-five thousand years, the First Nations people of
the prairie developed a knowledge and understanding of the local plants
that could help or harm them.
The historical relationship between First Nations people and the plants
they used was complex. Dr. Alex Johnston reports that the Blackfoot
knew and used about one hundred eighty-five species of plants for
purposes of “religion and ceremony, crafts and folklore, birth control,
medicines, horse medicines and diet.” Many of these plants can be found
in The Garden of Native Prairie Plants, created to commemorate the
centenary of the Lethbridge and District Horticultural Society, on the
grounds surrounding the Galt Museum & Archives.
The information presented here describes the plants in the Garden,
along with their uses by First Nations people. If your interest has
been piqued, acquire one of the books cited in the references below,
and let your feet take you into the Garden, and then to the grasslands
and the hills beyond to observe these plants in their natural
Edible Plants of Manitoba
This guide covers a number of edible plants in Manitoba, Canada
including the Winnipeg area, the Wapusk National Park and the Riding
Mountain National Park.. Do not collect where prohibited.
This guide focuses on wild edible plants that that are relatively easy
to identify and have no deadly poisonous look-alikes.
All plant parts described as being edible raw are also edible (and
often more palatable) when cooked.
What Is Indigenous Food Like?
Indigenous recipes are often based on traditional ingredients. This
often means combining the three sisters or the three staples that make
up much of the traditional Indigenous diet in North America. The three
sisters consist of corn, squash, and beans. The story behind the
tradition of the three sisters is one worth knowing before you begin.
Many Indigenous meals begin with a base of plants and meat that can be
harvested from the land and sea around us. Many traditional Indigenous
recipes use moose, caribou, elk, seal, buffalo, rabbit, salmon, and
more. Plants such as corn, squash, fiddleheads, wild rice, nuts, and
berries were used as well.
Food was, and still is a very important part of Indigenous life. And
traditionally, every part of the animal was used for either food,
clothing, tools, or shelter. Eating traditional isn’t just delicious,
there are loads of health benefits to eating fresh Indigenous cuisine
as well. By sticking to food that isn’t processed, you ensure that you
know exactly what you’re eating.
Plants Of Manitoba & How To Use Them
Wild Mint (Mentha spp.) in Manitoba
Wild Mint in Manitoba (Edibility and Identification)
in your backyard: How Indigenous peoples have used medicinal
Program at Wanuskewin Heritage Park offers walking tour of medicinal
Courtney Markewich · CBC News ·
Posted: Aug 05, 2017 6:00 AM CDT | Last
Updated: August 6, 2017
• When the leaves of the trembling aspen turn upside
down, rain is coming.
• When young men would go hunt, they would peel off
the bark and boil it. The water would be combined with bison fat. The
hunters would then apply the mixture to their skin as a way to mask
• A white powder will come off the bark when you rub
it with your hand. You can then wipe the powder on your skin to be used
as a sunscreen.
FOODS FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
To read more about what First Nations community members in Manitoba are
doing to increase the consumption of traditional foods, read the
Manitoba Traditional Foods Initiative: Planning and Resource
Development Project. New programs continue to be funded to meet
community needs, especially in the North, in order to revive
traditional food systems.
Traditional Food refers to the
foods that Indigenous people (First
Nation, Métis, and Inuit) consumed prior to European contact.
Traditional foods are known to not only have significant nutritional
benefits, but also cultural and spiritual benefits. This resource
focuses on traditional foods that are indigenous to Manitoba, as they
can vary throughout Canada.