Ties to Alaska's Wild Plants

Ethnobotany Film Series

Ethnographic filmmaker Sarah Betcher has produced a series designed to teach viewers about the many traditional Alaskan indigenous ways of using wild plants for food, medicine, and construction material.»

Funded by NSF grant #1546438 to Herbarium Curator Stefanie Ickert-Bond (PI) and Sarah Betcher (Co-PI).

Watch the whole series here


Featured Video in honor of Helen Watkins
(11/16/1939 - 2/9/2016)

DEVIL'S CLUB: Tlingit Traditions

Tlingit Elder Helen Watkins takes us through every stage of processing the devil's club plant: making beads, medicinal powder, and infused salves and oils. She also shares the spiritual significance of this powerful plant.

This engaging comprehensive video will enable the viewer to learn the steps it takes to make many products from devil’s club.




WILD CELERY: Iñupiat Traditions

I»upiat Elders share how they have witnessed healing fr om the use of wild celery as a medicine and ways they process the plant for optimal potency.

Watch the WILD CELERY film here


WILLOW: Iñupiat Traditions

Many I»upiat people gather willow and share about the ways they traditionally harvest and use the willow plant as a delicious, healthy, edible green and as a medicinal product.

Watch the WILLOW film here


SOURDOCK: Iñupiat Traditions

Two I»upiat women demonstrate their traditions of sourdock gathering, cutting, sorting techniques, and different dishes one can make from this nutritious plant.

Watch the SOURDOCK film here


BARK: Iñupiat Traditions

An I»upiaq women demonstrates how she uses bark as a tanning agent for skins and as a dye to fur while an I»upiaq man talks about his families traditions of using bark.

Watch the BARK film here


BERRIES: Iñupiat Traditions

I»upiat Elders take us through the arctic tundra for berry picking while sharing their traditions of gathering, processing, and consuming berries found in the tundra.

Watch the BERRIES film here


WOOD: Iñupiat Traditions

Three I»upiat men speak about their people’s traditions of using wood as construction material as well as showing examples of products made locally from wood.

Watch the WOOD film here


STINKWEED: Iñupiat Traditions

I»upiat Elders speak about the long list of ways their families have utilized the stinkweed plant as a potent medicinal herb.

Watch the STINKWEED film here


TREE GUM Iñupiat Traditions

An I»upiat husband and wife speak about their family’s traditional ways of gathering and using tree gum as a medicinal product.

Watch the TREE GUM film here