Ep. 133: Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge - Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples (feat. Prof. Nancy Turner)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the privilege of being joined by the University of Victoria Emeritus Professor, Nancy Turner. Professor Turner is an ethnobotanist whose research integrates the fields of botany and ecology with anthropology, geography and linguistics, among others. She is interested in the traditional knowledge systems and traditional land and resource management systems of Indigenous Peoples, particularly in western Canada.

Nancy has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 50 years, collaborating with Indigenous communities to help document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and habitats, including Indigenous foods, materials and medicines, as well as language and vocabulary relating to plants and environments. Her interests also include the roles of plants and animals in narratives, ceremonies, language and belief systems. 

Dr. Turner has authored, edited, co-authored or co-edited over 30 books. Her 2014 two-volume book, Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America , represents an integration of her long-term research. She has received a number of awards for her work, including membership in Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada, honorary degrees from Vancouver Island University, University of British Columbia, University of Northern British Columbia and Simon Fraser University; and the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ Canada Prize in the Social Sciences for Ancient Pathways.   


  • From Berkeley to Missoula to Vancouver   
  • Kincentricity   
  • Epistemologies & Living Language    
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge   
  • Respecting our Non-Human Relatives   
  • Residential Schools & the Suppression of Indigenous Ways   
  • Traditional Territories & Living Traditions   
  • First Nation Agroforestry Practices   
  • Cottonwood Mushrooms & Hazlenuts   
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights & Title   
  • Models of First Nation Land Access   
  • Blending Western Scientific Knowledge & First Nation Knowledge Systems   
  • 7 Generation Thinking   
  • Society Suffused by Ecological Thinking   


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