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: Iņupiat Traditions

Iņupiat 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 film here


SOURDOCK: Iņupiat Traditions

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

Watch the film here


BERRIES: Iņupiat Traditions

Iņupiat 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 film here


STINKWEED: Iņupiat Traditions

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

Watch the film here


WILLOW: Iņupiat Traditions

Many Iņupiat 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 film here


BARK: Iņupiat Traditions

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

Watch the film here


WOOD: Iņupiat Traditions

Three Iņupiat 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 film here


TREE GUM Iņupiat Traditions

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

Watch the film here

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