Linda Meanus: “All our Foods are Healthy”

Linda Meanus (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) talks about gathering roots, wild plants, berries and the importance of carrying on those traditions.

Linda Meanus is an educator whose sharing of knowledge on traditional Indian foods has engaged audiences across the American West. She is the granddaughter of Chief Tommy Thompson and his wife Flora.


When I was little um my you know grandma would always take us out to show us what kinda roots that we were supposed to dig at a certain time at a certain place. And it would always be in the valley [pause] In the valley or up by the mountains [pasue] or out in the fields because it was always past down to generation to generation that we need to keep this going before we loose it all.
And so they would show us the different kinds of roots, the first one would be, we would have wild celery, [pause] you know, it’s just something that taste like regular celery but the stocks are different. So since little, since I was little I have always, I was chosen by my grandma and grandpa and the elders, you know, to carry on this tradition since the older ones are too old now and can’t go on to do this so they asked us younger ones to go out and do this for them.
So when we do dig, we only dig as much as we can, only take what we need, not what, you know, not get greedy with it and save some for the others that want to go out and dig. An’ we, that’s [pause] ‘cause it comes at different months or different you know like uh, you know spring time is mostly when our roots come out and then late uh, early fall like August or September, we go get uh, huckleberries. Which is like blueberries, you know. So we are allowed to go pick those because that’s part of who are and it’s healthy so all the foods we have are healthy [pause] and provides um, [pause] nutrients and all that stuff that most people are looking for like in vitamins.[pause] So be vitamins for our elders natural organic stuff, that comes from mother earth.

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