Program & Replays

Gathering Medicine: A Squamish Perspective on the Role of Culturally Important Plants and Places in Indigenous Resurgence

Broadcast on August 23, 2023
With Styawat/Leigh Joseph
Hosted by Selima Harleston Lust

Styawat/Leigh Joseph shares the role that plants play in Indigenous resurgence and healing. She will share through storytelling and concepts that help explore the impacts of Indigenous plant knowledge and access, as well as the rebuilding of relationships with plants and the land.

In this session, you’ll discover:

  • Indigenous plants play a key role in healing and cultural resurgence
  • We all have a responsibility to be respectful when building relationships with plants
  • A 5-minute visualization connected to your own intersections with plants and the land
The views expressed are specific to the author/speaker and may vary from the perspectives of The Shift Network's participants, staff, or other speakers.
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Styawat/Leigh Joseph

Ethnobotanist and founder Skwálwen Botanicals

Styawat/Leigh Joseph is an ethnobotanist, researcher, and entrepreneur from the Squamish First Nation. She contributes to cultural knowledge renewal in connection to Indigenous plant and land-based relationships.

Leigh holds a BSc in botany, MSc in ethnobotany, and is currently completing her PhD in ethnobotany. She is also co-director and subject of the documentary Walking with Plants, nominated for 3 Leo Awards. 

As founder of the beauty brand Sḵwálwen Botanicals, Leigh brings together Indigenous science and self-care, providing luxury skincare and wellness products that draw from the ceremonial aspects of plants. Through its philanthropic partnerships, Sḵwálwen elevates Indigenous communities and shines a light on the strength and resilience of Indigenous peoples.

Leigh aims to contribute her voice as an Indigenous academic so that other Indigenous authors and students will feel represented and reflected in ethnobotany literature. Her first book, Held By the Land: A Guide to Indigenous Plants For Wellness, is part narrative, part field guide, and recipe book that draws on her lived experience as an Indigenous woman, her training in Western science, and her cultural journey toward identity.

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