Frog Leaf & Licorice Fern: Indigenous Plants of Spapayeq


For thousands of years, the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish First Nations have lived in the territory now known as Vancouver. The Pacific Northwest of North America is well-known to be an abundant region, offering its inhabitants remarkable wealth and resources that made them wealthy with life supporting riches.

One source of those riches is the extraordinary plant life that exists here, on the land, and in the waters of the ocean and lakes. These plants, while not a significant part of modern diets or medicinal methods, grow all around us, and were used as everyday forms of sustenance and comfort by our Aboriginal cousins. On a recent walking tour through Spapayeq (Stanley Park, Vancouver), I learned about a small few of these plants from a Coast Salish woman who told me and a dozen others about how her people used — and continue to use — the plants of the region to nourish themselves.

Have a look through the gallery for photos of some of the plants Starla Bob taught us about. The captions tell you a little about the plant and their uses. Then go to the Stanley Park Ecology Society site and book your own tour.

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