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Episode Info:

Dive deep into agroecology and the Native plant wisdom of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Keeper and medical herbalist Sage LaPena (Noptipom Wintu). This episode is unique in that it is based on a public lecture and hands-on teachings of Sage LaPena earlier this year. We learn about the sacred Oak and Peppernut trees of the North Coast landscape along with many of the cultural foods, medicines and craft plants native to the woodlands, grasslands, and riparian ecosystems of Coast Miwok territory. Sage eloquently shares ethnobotanical knowledge about trees, shrubs, grasses, and underground rooted plant parts such as mahogany, manzanita, elderberry, soap root, and Calechortus, among others. Sage reveals the life cycles and unique characteristics of these beautiful Native plant relatives, along with the high-TEK tools used to gather with, such as digging sticks and baskets. Additionally, we learn about traditional fire management and cultural burning and California Indian tribes historical and contemporary use of fire as a land-care practice. Sage’s teachings demonstrate the power of applied Indigenous environmental education, the importance of Native peoples as agroecologists and biocultural restorationists, and the spiritual ecology of relationships between human, plant, and planetary health.

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