Wetlands Preservation. Haskell-Baker Wetlands Field Research Project. Organization. Team Members: Leah Hitcher—Cherokee Nation Katie Renwick—Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Catcuce Tiger—Florida Seminole/Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Cecilia Flores—Alabama-Coushatta Jason Koontz—Comanche
Leah Hitcher—Cherokee Nation
Katie Renwick—Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Catcuce Tiger—Florida Seminole/Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Aaron Ross—Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Principle Investigator—Dr. Dan Wildcat
WPO Sponsor—Mr. Stan Ross
Haskell students (mostly children) were used as farm laborers
Map reproduced by Josh Miesel
South Lawrence Trafficway
Trafficway Through Haskell-Baker Wetlands
Alligator Snapping Turtle
Common Name: American Lotus
Scientific Name: Nelumbo lutea
Tribes: Comanche, Dakota, Ojibwa, Ponca, Pawnee, Potawatomi, Winnebago
Uses: The leaves and flowers were used to treat a wide range of bleeding disorders. Pastes were applied to inflamed skin. The seeds were eaten as a functional food or tonic and are said to cure nausea, indigestion, nervous disorders and insomnia (Haines 2004). The acrid roots can be used as food and a thickener like corn starch. The latex in the stem has narcotizing properties.The plant has been characterized as having mystic powers. The hard, nut-like seeds were cracked, freed from the shells and used with meat to make soup or roasted and made into a sweet meal. The seeds were also gathered and roasted like chestnuts. The shoots were cooked with venison, corn or beans (Moerman 2003).
Common Name: Illinois Bundle-Flower
Scientific Name: Desmanthus illinoensis
Tribes: Pawnee, Omaha, Paiutes
Uses: The most unique plant in the prairie because it contains DMT, Dimethyltryptamine (Elpel 2004). A wash from the boiled leaves was used for itchiness. The mature seed pods were used as rattles for native dances. It was also used to treat trachoma by placing five seeds in each eye at night and washing it out in the morning (Kindscher and Noguera 2002).
Common Name: Hops
Scientific Name: Humulus lupulus
Tribes: Cherokee, Dakota, Delaware, Mesquakie, Mohegan, Ojibwa, Omaha
Uses: The poultice is used for inflammations, boils, tumors, wounds, etc. Hops are also known to increase milk flow in lactating women (Elpel 2004). This plant was used to alleviate pain and produce sleep. It was taken for inflamed kidneys. A decoction of its fruit was taken for intestinal pains. An infusion of the plant was taken as a tonic and stimulant. A poultice of the heated herb was applied for toothaches and earaches. An infusion was taken as a diuretic and to reduce acidity of urine (Moerman 2003).
Common Name: Prairie Dogbane/Indian Hemp
Scientific Name: Apocynum cannabinum
Tribes: Blackfoot, Mesquakie, Kiowa, Cherokee, Iroquois, Menominee, Navajo, Chippewa
Uses: The root was used as a laxative and a wash to prevent hair loss. The fibers of its stem are very durable and used as thread. It is still used in Appalachia as a tonic and remedy for migraine, colds, pleurisy, constipation, and to induce abortion. It is also used in mixtures to treat rheumatism, bursitis, arthritis, and liver, stomach, and lung ailments (Kindscher and Noguera 2002). The root was used for pox and uterine obstructions. An infusion of the root was used as a wash for children with diarrhea. The roots were also used as blood purifier. A decoction of the root was taken for worms. The leaves were used as a ceremonial emetic and a cold infusion of the leaves were used as a ceremonial lotion. The fiber was considered the best available for making fine cordage (Moerman 2003).
Common Name: Common Arrowhead
Scientific Name: Sagittaria latifolia
Tribes: Cherokee, Chippewa, Iroquois, Cocopa, Dakota, Lakota, Potawatomi, Klamath, Mesquakie, Omaha, Pawnee
Uses: An infusion of the leaves was used as a wash to bathe a feverish baby. The baby would also be given one sip to drink. An infusion of the root was taken for indigestion. An infusion of the plant was taken for rheumatism. A compound decoction was taken for boils on the abdomen of children and also as a wash on itchy skin parts. The decoction was also used as a laxative. Many tribes used the tubers of this plant much like a potato (Kindscher and Noguera 2002). A poultice of pounded corms was applied to wounds and sores (Moerman 2003).
Common Name: Smooth Sumac
Scientific Name: Rhus glabra
Tribes: Cherokee, Chippewa, Creek, Iroquois, Kiowa, Mesquakie, Nez Perce, Ojibwa, Omaha, Pawnee, Sioux
Uses: The bright red berries are high in calcium and potassium malates, and they can be infused into cold water to make a good lemonade-type drink. The leaves and bark are used for sore throat, diarrhea, cold sores, etc. The leaf is recommended for asthma (Elpel 2004). The bark of the root was used to make a general tonic tea and as a wash for blisters and sunburns. The inner bark of the root was used for indigestion and stomachaches (Haines 2004). An infusion of the bark was taken as an emetic. Compound decoction of flower was used as a mouthwash for a teething child. A decoction of the root was taken for painful urination and retention of urine. A poultice of bruised and wetted leaves or fruits was used for poisoned skin. This plant was also used to "purify" the body and mind (Moerman 2003).
In 2000, Honor the Earth and Tides Foundation launched the Native Communities Initiative- a grant-making initiative designed to increase funding to effective, front line Native American grassroots organizations. To find out more about giving opportunities with Tides Foundation or contact Honor the Earth