Native plants, like Thimbleberry, have been appreciated as a delicious food source in the Pacific Northwest where I live.
Salmon Berries are starting to form in these woods. They are already ripe at the sunny edges of the forest and borders of wetlands.
The blossoms of the Salal will soon become another favorite berry of the Coast Salish Peoples. These will become dark blue-black color and I’ve been told, by my teacher Randi Purser, that the Salal berries hold a preservative in them, and were often mixed with salmon, or meat as they dried, helping to preserve these foods.
I am a plant fiber weaver person. I am also a human person. Everyday I learn more about how generations of colonizers have stolen the lands, the food sources, the children, the knowledge, the languages, the spiritual practices, and the cultures of those who have lived here since time immemorial. What comes crashing down like a lahar off an imploding mountain is that those colonizers who possessed the power, those government officials, those who made the laws, created laws and policies specifically to destroy all evidence of their own thievery. If you take something that doesn’t belong to you, and you give it to someone else, isn’t it still stolen property?
Lynda Mapes has written an excellent article that brings to light how the Coast Salish Peoples have survived many obstacles. Now they must contend with complicated issues involving identity and how they are telling their own stories.