Are there approaches to using medicinal plants common to all First Nations cultures?

I’d say it’s the commonality of our world view. We recognize that the natural environment provides us with health and that utilizing plants can provide us with health. Some of those plants are actually foods, so they become our medicine. Ours is more a preventative approach to wellness, rather than one in which you wait until you have a disease and then treat the symptoms. It’s about understanding that our health comes from the natural environment, whether it’s the plants, the water, the trees, the birds. They all provide us with health.

First Nations people also understand that everything is interconnected. So if I’m utilizing those plants, it’s my responsibility to ensure their health, to protect them, to protect their habitat and where they live. In doing that, there’s reciprocity. The benefits come back to me.
Coalition of Canadian Healthcare Museums and Archives

© 2005, Coalition of Canadian Healthcare Museums and Archives

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans