Red Shawl Woman
DR. JEANNE PAUL
TRADITIONAL HEALING KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES WITH A CONCENTRATION ON NATIVE WILD-CRAFTING AND COURSES ON HOW TO MAKE THESE AMAZING MEDICINES.
I am of the Coast Salish tribe from the Sliammon Band in beautiful British Columbua. My interest in Traditional Healing has been constant throughout my life, but it started with the teachings from my mother Mary.
Every year my mother asked me to pick “cequak”, which I know now as the Elderberry.
She did not explain why we needed to can these particular berries but we would always take the time to can a large jar while they were in season. She had some knowledge of its original use but had lost its specific meaning - its use was just “it’s just good for you”. Throughout many years of involvement with Native health I would hear about other herbs that were “just good for you”. Again there was not a clear explanation. Because of this I made it a mission to find out what specific properties of these ancient herbs were so beneficial, why they promoted healing and how I could craft them myself. Also, I wanted to find out how our ancestors used these medicines for healing and particularly how did they know how to use them medicinally. I knew there was an innate, spiritual, observational and even today, a passed-down knowledge of the herbs. However, there were not libraries of herbal books or schools of native herbal learning or not any herbal teachers instructing students on the subject.
I took it upon myself to avidly study these herbs we call “Brothers and Sisters” with a mission to share this knowledge to my fellow First Nation's people, but also to whomever wishes to learn more. Initially as a Naturopath Physician student, I had specialized in the Botanical studies to gain the essential medical background to pursue this knowledge. I then spent 20 more years specializing in making the Medicines from these Herbs, that are still used by many Natives in all of the Americas.
One question I hear a lot is, who can be a Traditional Healer? Generally they are defined as a person who has “the sight” to be told of these medicines and their uses. Ancestors obviously made use of their observational skills that is watching birds and animals in their innate knowledge of what they could eat and when to eat them. There are those who are just inspired by Inner Guides who gave this gift to an avid student. There are those who were taught by their Elders. Students would become apprentices to a Medicine Man.
Now, as a modern Native Traditional Healer, I have made use of the educational materials available to me through being a Naturopathic Physician but also using Herbal Schools, Herbal/Botanical Books, Botanical Teachers, and Herbal Courses. My mother knew the importance of these medicines and told me “take it, it’s good for you” but now I can draw from my Herbal Medicines studies, research and in-depth studies. I also have the choice of the Inner Vision that is so available if I would listen to the Inner Teachers who inspire and teach us as our Ancestral Healers learned. It is a special Gift for those willing to listen!
Today, we have a vast wealth of available information available, it is still Wild-Crafting these “brothers and sisters” in its natural habitat, seeing what they looks like, observing the seasons of its growth and finally making the medicine from the Herb that truly gives you the appreciation for these wonderful plants. It is amazing that in our modern approach to studying these Herbs, we have the same result as our Ancestors had - they are just good for us! But we know now that Herbal Medicine is a real science backed up by research and by centuries of ancestral teachings. I feel honoured to be its student and now have the capacity to spread this knowledge to anyone who wants to learn.
COME MAKE MEDICINE WITH ME!