By Type

Water lily, Yellow pond lily

As medicine:

The roots of the water lily plant are dried and used to relieve a dry throat or the onset of a cold. Ruth Welsh said,

"...you only take small little tiny pieces."

The roots are also used to ease a sore back. Ruth describes how to make this,

…cut a piece off [the main root]…a foot or a foot and a half long…heat the root….split the root and put it on each of [the] back and tie [it in place].

Source: Andre, Alestine, Nan t'aih nakwits'inahtsìh (The Land Gives Us Strength) (2006)

English

Bearberry (bird’s eye)

As food

The edible berries of this low-growing plant are similar to red currants. The red, shiny berries are juicy but sour. Ruth Welsh and Mary Kendi say if you do not have any water these berries and cranberries will quench your thirst. Alfred Semple recommends adding these berries to pemmican (caribou or moose meatballs).

Source: Andre, Alestine and Alan Fehr, Gwich'in Ethnobotany, 2nd ed. (2002)
English

Blackberry

As food 

The berries are edible and make good jam. They are ready to pick in August and September and are tasty when eaten as is or eaten with other berries. Blackberries can be mixed with cranberries and added to it’suh, a Gwich’in dessert made from pounded dryfish.

Blackberries and Fish

English

Black currant

As food

Although not commonly found in the Gwich’in Settlement Region, the black berries of this plant are strong tasting and usually are picked for food in late summer. They make good jam. A tea can also be made using dried leaves and berries. In the winter, the stems can be collected and made into a tea.

 

Source: Andre, Alestine and Alan Fehr, Gwich'in Ethnobotany, 2nd ed. (2002)

English

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