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Ampersand Fall 2021 Omnibus Adult ON & QC

Luschiim’s Plants
Traditional Indigenous Foods, Materials and Medicines
By (author): Luschiim Arvid Charlie By (author): Nancy J. Turner
Luschiim Arvid Charlie , Nancy J. Turner


Harbour Publishing



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Sep 18, 2021
$29.95 CAD


9in x 6 in

Page Count:

288 pages


colour photographs and illustrations
Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd.
Harbour Publishing
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Indigenous Studies
James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award 2022, Short-listed Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award 2022, Short-listed Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize 2022, Winner
  • Short Description

An invaluable compendium of Hul′q′umi′num′ traditional knowledge.

Respected Cowichan Tribe Elder and botanical expert, Luschiim Arvid Charlie, began his education in early childhood, learning from his great grandparents and others of their generation. Luschiim’s Plants represents his dedication to the survival of the Hul′q′umi′num′ language and traditional knowledge of plants for future generations. From the healing properties of qaanlhp (arbutus) to the many practical applications of q’am (bull kelp), the information presented in this remarkable guide shares knowledge of plants that Luschiim is familiar with through his own Elders’ teachings and by way of direct experience over the course of his lifetime, and compiled from field outings and interviews with notable ethnobiologist and botanist Nancy J. Turner.

In this unprecedented collection of botanical information, over 140 plants are categorized within their broad botanical groupings: algae and seaweeds, lichens, fungi and mushrooms, mosses and liverworts, ferns and fern-allies, coniferous trees, deciduous trees, shrubs and vines, and herbaceous flowering plants. Each entry is illustrated with a colour photo and includes the plant’s common, scientific and Hul′q′umi′num′ names; a short description; where to find it; and cultural knowledge related to the plant. Additional notes encompass plant use, safety and conservation; the linguistic writing system used for Hul′q′umi′num′ plant names; as well as miscellaneous notes from interviews with Luschiim.

This volume is an important addition to the bookshelves of botanists, and will fascinate anyone with an interest in plants of the West Coast and their traditional uses by Coast Salish peoples.

Luschiim Arvid Charlie was born in Quamichan, one of the Cowichan Villages, in 1942 and has lived in the Duncan, BC, area all of his life. From the age of three, he began learning about plants and their various uses from the Elders in his family. Since then, he has made it a personal priority to gather knowledge about the natural environment. In 2007, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters degree at Malaspina University-College in recognition of of his extensive contributions to the teaching of Coast Salish culture and traditions in a wide range of contexts, as well as his commitment to the protection of the environment and preservation of the Hul′q′umi′num′ language.

Nancy J. Turner is an ethnobotanist, and Distinguished Professor Emerita, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada. She has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 50 years, helping to document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and environments, including Indigenous foods, materials and traditional medicines. Her two-volume book, Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge (July, 2014; McGill-Queen’s University Press), integrates her long term research. She has authored or co-authored/co-edited 30 other books, including: Plants of Haida Gwaii; The Earth’s Blanket; “Keeping it Living” (with Doug Deur); Saanich Ethnobotany (with Richard Hebda), and Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples, and over 150 book chapters and papers. Her latest edited book is Plants, People and Places: the Roles of Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology in Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights in Canada and Beyond (2020). She has received a number of awards for her work, including membership in Order of British Columbia (1999) and the Order of Canada (2009), honorary degrees from University of British Columbia, University of Northern British Columbia and Vancouver Island and Simon Fraser Universities.

“There are no words to say thank you to Luschiim for his dedication in writing names for all the plants. No words for honouring our ancestors through his work. Hay ch qa Luschiim.”

- Humilh (Jerry Brown), Hul'q'umi'num' Language Teacher

“Hay ch qa Luschiim. We value his work of honouring the plants, honouring our people’s ways of knowing how to look after the plants, and how to harvest the plants. Every plant has a name. He is a living legacy who is making sure the names are carried on for our children.”

- Haqwaybuxw (Colleen Manson), MA, Hul’q’umi’num’ language teacher

“tunu siem' nu sqe'uq Luschiim, cuyulh naamut cun utun' syaays , tlimuw tli' tun pookw 'i' xulutuhw, 'i' huychqu siem'.”

- Squtxulenuxw (George Seymour), MA, Storyteller and Hul’q’umi’num’ language teacher

“In Hulq’umi’num’, the teaching is that when we learn the language, we also learn the culture. In sharing his knowledge of the plants, Luschiim teaches us the connection of the language and the culture to the land.”

- Cameron Park, MA, Hul’q’umi’num’ language teacher

“Luschiim has an encyclopedic knowledge of the plant relatives across Salish territories. This gift of his knowledge will help us to walk better on these lands.”

- Ted Cadwallader, MA, director of instruction, Indigenous Learning, School District 68

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