Leigh Joseph is a member of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) First Nation; her ancestral name is Styawat and she is an ethnobotanist by training who completed a Masters of Science in Ethnobotany at the University of Victoria under the guidance of her Skwxwú7mesh community. She is also the founder of Sḵwálwen Botanicals, a line of botanical skin care products that honours traditional Skwxwú7mesh plant knowledge, in which only sustainably-harvested plants and organic, high quality ingredients are integrated.
In this conversation with host Shayla Oulette Stonechild, Leigh speaks of her family traditions, who instilled a deep respect for the natural world in her starting at a young age, as well as the links between food and culture in ancestral Indigenous culture. She recounts her childhood memories of eating freshly harvested ingredients as well as the spirituality woven into the process of growing and preparing food — an offering of thanks to the plants and animals that had given their lives for our nourishment. In this beautiful exchange, Leigh shares how her work with plants offers a renewed connection to the land and to traditional Squamish knowledge.
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