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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

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haskell baker wetlands field research project

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

Aaron Ross—Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Principle Investigator—Dr. Dan Wildcat

WPO Sponsor—Mr. Stan Ross

project purpose
Project Purpose
  • To create an ethno-botanical field guide on the plants located in the Haskell-Baker Wetlands.
  • Create an educational brochure on the Wetlands Preservation Organization (WPO), a grassroots student group concerned with preserving the Wetlands and halting a proposed trafficway.
slide4

The Wetlands

  • Sacred land to Haskell Community
  • Spiritually, culturally, and physically connected to Haskell
  • Potential unmarked graves of Haskell students
  • Place of peace, worship and medicine
  • Historical markers: Oregon Trail, historic Haskell agriculture, BIA landfill, parents of Haskell students introduced commonly used plants for their children attending Haskell. Ex: Pawpaw grove
  • Important to every new generation of Haskell students to carry on and preserve
haskell agriculture in the wakarusa wetlands may 20 1903
Haskell Agriculture in the Wakarusa Wetlands (May 20, 1903)

Haskell students (mostly children) were used as farm laborers

  • United States Indian Training School (Haskell Institute) farmed the Wakarusa Wetlands from 1926 -1936.
  • United States Indian Training School (Haskell Institute) farmed the Wakarusa Wetlands from 1926 -1936.
haskell agricultural map 1919 1924
Haskell Agricultural Map 1919-1924
  • Although Haskell farm produce abundant crops there were reports of diseases from malnutrition from a diet of “tack” and water.

Map reproduced by Josh Miesel

slide10

Shawnee in Kansas

  • The ancestral homelands of the Shawnees are in the northeastern United States. During the 19th century, the tribe was removed by the U.S. Government to what is now the state of Kansas. The group which became known as the Absentee Shawnee Tribe absented itself from the reservation in Kansas in 1845 (thus their name).
  • 1854 Treaty With The Shawnee—The United States agree to pay to the Shawnee people, the sum of eight hundred and twenty-nine thousand dollars.
  • The Haskell Wetlands are located in this region.
slide11

South Lawrence Trafficway

  • Haskell has been fighting it for over 25 years
  • Faster route, bypass 23rd St.
  • Proposed to run right through the sacred wetlands
  • Destroy sacred sites, animal habitat, medicinal plants andhistorical markers
slide12

Proposed

South Lawrence Trafficway

  • Image of Proposed 32nd St. and new 31st St.
  • Current status of SLT
slide13

Proposed South Lawrence

Trafficway Through Haskell-Baker Wetlands

slide14

Proposed Alternate SLT Route (42nd St.)

  • At least this route bypasses the Wetlands, South of the Wakarusa River!
  • It will still have major environmental impacts, but it won’t be right through the middle of our sacred Wetlands.
slide15
We are trying to document the plant and animal species present in the Wetlands that are traditionally used by Native people for medicine and food sources

Alligator Snapping Turtle

Common Arrowhead

American Lotus

Crawfish Frog

medicinal plants in the wetlands
Medicinal Plants In The Wetlands

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).

medicinal plants in the wetlands1
Medicinal Plants In The Wetlands

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).

medicinal plants in the wetlands2
Medicinal Plants In The Wetlands

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).

medicinal plants in the wetlands3
Medicinal Plants In The Wetlands

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).

medicinal plants in the wetlands4
Medicinal Plants In The Wetlands

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).

medicinal plants in the wetlands5
Medicinal Plants In The Wetlands

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).

wetlands field research project
Wetlands Field Research Project
  • Funding source:

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

email: honorearth@earthlink.net.