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Interested in traditional uses for native plants? Book from Cowichan author for you

Luschiim’s Plants: Traditional Indigenous Foods, Materials and Medicines
The authors of ‘Luschiim’s Plants: Traditional Indigenous Foods, Materials and Medicines’ will be at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre in Cowichan Bay on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Book cover)

Meet authors Dr. Luschiim Arvid Charlie and Nancy J. Turner at a talk and book signing for Luschiim’s Plants: Traditional Indigenous Foods, Materials and Medicines this weekend.

The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre will host the outdoor event on Sunday, Oct. 3 from 3 to 4 p.m. Attendees are asked to dress for the weather and wear a mask. There will be tents set up if it looks like rain. The book will also be available for purchase.

“Luschiim’s Plants is an unprecedented collection of botanical information,” said a press release for the event. “Over 140 plants are categorized within their broad botanical groupings: algae and seaweeds, lichens, fungi and mushrooms, mosses and liverworts, ferns and fern-allies, coniferous trees, deciduous trees, shrubs and vines, and herbaceous flowering plants. Each entry is illustrated with a colour photo and includes the plant’s common, scientific and Hul’q’umi’num’ names; a short description; where to find it; and cultural knowledge related to the plant. Additional notes encompass plant use, safety and conservation; the linguistic writing system used for Hul’q’umi’num’ plant names; as well as miscellaneous notes from interviews with Luschiim.”

Charlie was born in Quamichan, one of the Cowichan villages, in 1942 and has lived in the Duncan area all of his life. From the age of three, he began learning about plants and their various uses from the elders in his family, the press release explains. Since then, he has made it a personal priority to gather knowledge about the natural environment. In 2007, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters degree at Malaspina University-College in recognition of his extensive contributions to the teaching of Coast Salish culture and traditions in a wide range of contexts, as well as his commitment to the protection of the environment and preservation of the Hul’q’umi’num’ language.

Nancy J. Turner is internationally known for her work in ethnobotany, the study of plants and cultures. She lives in Nanaimo.

The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre is located at 1845 Cowichan Bay Rd. People wishing to attend the event should meet at the front of the centre just before 3 p.m. For more information about the event, check out, call 250-597-2288 or email