Plants, Inspiring the People: Reflections on Hualapai Ethnobotany of the Grand Canyon
Where lies the cure to diabetes? “Ask the prickly pear, or the mesquite bean pod…maybe they will tell you.” This is the answer you may hear from elder instructors of the Hualapai Ethnobotany Youth Project. The ethnobotanical story of the Hualapai Tribe begins with the plant knowledge the people have inherited from their great grandparents who lived entirely off the land. Hualapai grandchildren live in a completely different modern world. A world of cell phones, text messages, and ipods. Information presented will share about the project examining the crucial role plant resource acquisition has played in Hualapai culture; knowledge that has been fine tuned and perfected over millennia.
Carrie Cannon is a member of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma and is also of Oglala Lakota descent. She has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology, and an M.S. in Resource Management. She began working for the Hualapai Tribe of Peach Springs, Arizona in 2005 where she began the creation of an intergenerational ethnobotany program for the Hualapai community. She is currently employed as an Ethnobotanist for the Hualapai Department of Cultural Resources. She administers a number of projects promoting the intergenerational teaching of Hualapai ethnobotanical knowledge working towards preservation and revitalization to ensure tribal ethnobotanical knowledge persists as a living practice and tradition.