March 18, 2021

Podcast

Ep.22 Rewilding: Reviving Our Cultural and Biological Health with Dr. Nancy Turner

Ep.22 Rewilding: Reviving Our Cultural and Biological Health with Dr. Nancy Turner

Dr. Nancy Turner is an ethnobotanist and a Distinguished Professor Emerita at the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria in Canada.

Her fascination of plants was seeded early in her childhood days and as a wide-eyed, inquisitive student she continued to immerse herself in the botanical world throughout her life.

She has walked alongside First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 50 years, learning from their stories and traditional knowledge. She has helped to document, retain and promote traditional knowledge of plants and environments, including Indigenous foods, materials and traditional medicines. 

In this episode, Dr. Nancy describes the different ways that humans can be in relationship with nature. She describes the differences and the congruences of the Western scientific system versus the Indigenous knowledge system for understanding those relationships. She explains how those also lead to very different approaches to land management and conservation.

In this episode, Dr. Nancy describes the different ways that humans can be in relationship with nature. She describes the differences and the congruencies of the Western scientific system versus the Indigenous knowledge system for understanding those relationships. She also explains how those lend to very different approaches to land management and conservation.

Dr. Nancy shares how language and storytelling are the main mechanisms to transfer Indigenous knowledge from one generation to another. By living more in harmony, with reciprocity and regenerative principles in mind, she explains how traditional teachings can show us how to preserve cultural identities and wellbeing as well as the health of our biological world.

This conversation is a way to get a glimpse into the many many years that Dr. Nancy spent seeing the world through the eyes not only of her human relatives of a different culture but, also, with a lens of being in relationship with our plant and animal relatives. 

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Until next time…

CONNECT WITH NANCY

Website: Dr. Nancy Turner, UVic

Email: nturner@uvic.ca

Articles & Books

The Earth’s Blanket; “Keeping it Living”: Traditions of Plant Use and Cultivation on the Northwest Coast of North America (with Doug Deur)

Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America (July, 2014; McGill-Queen’s University Press)

Plants, People, and Places: the Roles of Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology in Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights in Canada and Beyond (2020)

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