Tansi,

I, Amanda Bird, created Native Earth Wild Craft in the summer of 2018, and I continue to grow my business and practice as I evolve on my medicine path. The name Native Earth is to remind us of our roots, our responsibility to love and care for this place, and to live by upholding the natural and universal laws of creation. I am of Mikisew Cree and Czechoslovakian descent from Denendeh (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories), the traditional territory of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. My father’s lineage is from Ayapaskaw (Fort Chipewyan, Alberta), and my mother’s lineage is from the prairie settler farmlands of southern Alberta, and originally Eastern Europe. Having both Indigenous and European ancestry has given me the ability to walk in two worlds and see from different worldviews while assisting in my work to Indigenize Western systems of care.

As a youth, I traveled to the west coast in search of a new place to make a home, and I continue to explore and cross-pollinate through the movement of my Bird Spirit (Piwayisis) around the globe, visiting different lands, cultures, and creating expansion through new experiences. I have made my home base on the Coast Salish Territory of the Gulf Islands surrounded by the Salish Sea. It is the power of the land, water, and people that keep me in this place, offering deep grounding for rooting into and navigating my medicine path.

Born with the gifts of healing, I have had to seek, develop, and grow into the Healer that I am today. My great grandfather, Chief Mikisew Marten, was the first appointed Chief of the nation with strong leadership abilities as a Medicine Man. His legacy of healing is prophecied to carry on through our lineage and bring forth greater healing through our family, communities, and nations. My ancestors were groomed to become Medicine People, and their gifts were nurtured and taught through traditional knowledge transmission. Today, the impacts of colonization, residential schools, and ongoing colonial genocide have disrupted traditional culture. Therefore, I have had to groom myself through the teachings of Elders, Medicine People, Healers, ceremony, cultural knowledge, spiritual development, and formal education which I have sought my entire life.

I hold a degree in Medical Herbalism from Pacific Rim College on Lekwungen territory, with a background in Western Herbalism, traditional Indigenous Herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurvedic Medicine foundations, as well as holistic nutrition. I began my practice in a clinical community setting at the college and the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. My graduate year thesis was focused on using the Medicine Wheel teachings for holistic healing through the support of spiritual plant medicine use. At the same time, I was beginning to design and teach herbalism workshops with various Indigenous nations and organizations local to the area. I was also a youth researcher for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada through the University of Victoria Centre for Youth and Society. I created a digital resistance narrative to honor the experiences of my family’s survival through the residential school system for the purposes of intergenerational healing, and as an act of gratitude for being alive today because of their strength. I was able to share and teach about the effects of colonization and residential schools through various educational conferences, truth-telling gatherings, and in school settings with people of all ages.

Through my practice with community, and my own personal experience, I was seeing the wounds and trauma at the root of many presenting illnesses, and I wanted to be able to go deeper with people in support of healing the core. This led me to study Aboriginal Family and Community Counselling from which I achieved certification with the Native Education College on Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. My practicum experience brought me to an exploration of land-based healing approaches in the Tu’wusht Food and Medicine Garden at the University of British Columbia through the Vancouver Native Health Society. I helped to facilitate land-based healing workshops for various Indigenous organizations from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, through tending and connecting to the land in the growing, harvesting, preparation, and sharing of food and medicine. I strongly believe that connecting to nature is our direct pathway to the Great Spirit and Self and that tending the land directly heals our Earth Mother and our bodies in a beautiful exchange.

I was so inspired by land-based healing that I was then trained in the Art of Creative Facilitation through my work with Indigeneyez, which develops and delivers decolonial education through Indigenous youth empowerment culture-based conferences and camps. I was also working with the Access to Media Education Society on teaching Aboriginal education within the Galiano Island Elementary School in a series of land-based medicine workshops, as well as the participation in cultural-ecological restoration projects through the Penelakut Nation, and collaborative community engagement within inter-island gatherings. I also supported Elder knowledge transmission, and the development of digital media for online community education through the Salish Harvest website.

My work in Aboriginal Family and Community Counselling lead me into the study of Social Work, for which I am in completion of my fourth year of the bachelor program through the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology: an Indigenous-owned and operated post-secondary school on Nlakapamux and Syilx territory. In my third year practicum, I was honored to work at Lu’ma Medical Centre: the very first culturally integrated primary healthcare service of its kind province-wide. At Lu’ma I witnessed the blending of Western allopathic medicine and traditional Indigenous approaches to healing in a culturally safe space open to all Indigenous people and their families. Lu’ma is one organization of many which are directly acting against systemic racism that continues to harm our Indigenous relatives. It is my vision to bring the practice of traditional medicine and holistic healing to Indigenous communities on a larger scale, to teach others how to heal themselves, and bring our Indigenous relatives back to a place of true power guided from the heart. Through ecological and social justice, I envision a world where Indigenous nations are sovereign and self-determined in their own governance, legal, and traditional practices. A world in which colonial forces and unhealthy systems are dismantled to create space for healthy and thriving communities to grow.

Although I have a background in science, I work with plant medicine on an energetic and spiritual level, as I believe that the world needs to remember and include the Spirit for effective healing to take place. It is my great pleasure to be able to work closely with the Plant People for the healing of all, and my joy is in being of service to others. Learning and growing with plants is a lifelong journey and one that pushes one to learn first how to heal oneself, which is the most challenging aspect of the medicine path. I have had to learn to heal my own trauma and victim consciousness from the experiences of abuse, violence, addictions, racism, and oppression, in order to become more aware of myself and to know and understand the meaning of healing and self-love. This path requires great discipline to unlearn social conditioning and honor myself through healthy eating, lifestyle, and spiritual practices which keep me grounded and give me the ability to anchor in the consciousness of love through the internal authority of the heart, for which our Earth and humanity is in great need of at this time.

I have developed an ability to communicate with the Plant Spirits and translate their messages in the form of medicine, to help people understand the meaning and integrate the healing at a root level. I am a proud Indigenous woman who stands strong in my culture. I am deeply committed to my own spiritual development, health and wellness, and cultural revitalization practices. An avid gardener and forest forager, you can find me in the bush or with my hands in the dirt. In the summer season, I am at the farmer’s market booth sharing medicines and knowledge, supporting local business and food, as well as building community. I am passionate about bringing accessible holistic medicine back into our communities. May this work plant the seed of a beautiful blooming into a future full of healthy and thriving people living in harmony with All That Is.

With loving gratitude,

Hiy Hiy!

Tansi,

I, Amanda Bird, created Native Earth Wild Craft in the summer of 2018, and I continue to grow my business and practice as I evolve on my medicine path. The name Native Earth is to remind us of our roots, our responsibility to love and care for this place, and to live by upholding the natural and universal laws of creation.I am of Mikisew Cree and Czechoslovakian descent from Denendeh (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories), the traditional territory of the Dene Nation.My father’s lineage is from Ayapaskaw (Fort Chipewyan, Alberta), and my mother’s lineage is from the prairie settler farmlands of southern Alberta, and originally Eastern Europe.Having both Indigenous and European ancestry has given me the ability to walk in two worlds and see from different worldviews while assisting in my work to Indigenize Western systems of care.

As a youth, I traveled to the west coast in search of a new place to make a home, and I continue to explore and cross-pollinate through the movement of my Bird Spirit (Piwayisis) around the globe, visiting different lands, cultures, and creating expansion through new experiences.I have made my home base on the Coast Salish Territory of the Gulf Islands surrounded by the Salish Sea.It is the power of the land, water, and people that keep me in this place, offering deep grounding for rooting into and navigating my medicine path.

Born with the gifts of healing, I have had to seek, develop, and grow into the Healer that I am today. My great grandfather, Chief Mikisew Marten, was the first appointed Chief of the nation with strong leadership abilities as a Medicine Man. His legacy of healing is prophesied to carry on through our lineage and bring forth greater healing through our family, communities, and nations. My ancestors were groomed to become Medicine People, and their gifts were nurtured and taught through traditional knowledge transmission. Today, the impacts of colonization, residential schools, and ongoing colonial genocide have disrupted traditional culture. Therefore, I have had to groom myself through the teachings of Elders, Medicine People, Healers, ceremony, cultural knowledge, spiritual development, and formal education which I have sought my entire life.

I hold a degree in Medical Herbalism from Pacific Rim College on Lekwungen territory, with a background in Western Herbalism, traditional Indigenous Herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurvedic Medicine foundations, as well as holistic nutrition. I began my practice in a clinical community setting at the college and the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. My graduate year thesis was focused on using the Medicine Wheel teachings for holistic healing through the support of spiritual plant medicine use. At the same time, I was beginning to design and teach herbalism workshops with various Indigenous nations and organizations local to the area. I was also a youth researcher for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada through the University of Victoria Centre for Youth and Society. I created a digital resistance narrative to honor the experiences of my family’s survival through the residential school system for the purposes of intergenerational healing, and as an act of gratitude for being alive today because of their strength. I was able to share and teach about the effects of colonization and residential schools through various educational conferences, truth-telling gatherings, and in school settings with people of all ages.

Through my practice with community, and my own personal experience, I was seeing the wounds and trauma at the root of many presenting illnesses, and I wanted to be able to go deeper with people in support of healing the core. This led me to study Aboriginal Family and Community Counselling from which I achieved certification with the Native Education College on Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. My practicum experience brought me to an exploration of land-based healing approaches in the Tu’wusht Food and Medicine Garden at the University of British Columbia through the Vancouver Native Health Society. I helped to facilitate land-based healing workshops for various Indigenous organizations from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, through tending and connecting to the land in the growing, harvesting, preparation, and sharing of food and medicine. I strongly believe that connecting to nature is our direct pathway to the Great Spirit and Self and that tending the land directly heals our Earth Mother and our bodies in a beautiful exchange.

I was so inspired by land-based healing that I was then trained in the Art of Creative Facilitation through my work with Indigeneyez, which develops and delivers decolonial education through Indigenous youth empowerment culture-based conferences and camps. I was also working with the Access to Media Education Society on teaching Aboriginal education within the Galiano Island Elementary School in a series of land-based medicine workshops, as well as the participation in cultural-ecological restoration projects through the Penelakut Nation, and collaborative community engagement within inter-island gatherings. I also supported Elder knowledge transmission, and the development of digital media for online community education through the Salish Harvest website.

My work in Aboriginal Family and Community Counselling lead me into the study of Social Work, for which I am in completion of my fourth year of the bachelor program through the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology: an Indigenous-owned and operated post-secondary school on Nlakapamux and Syilx territory. In my third year practicum, I was honored to work at Lu’ma Medical Centre: the very first culturally integrated primary healthcare service of its kind province-wide. At Lu’ma I witnessed the blending of Western allopathic medicine and traditional Indigenous approaches to healing in a culturally safe space open to all Indigenous people and their families. Lu’ma is one organization of many which are directly acting against systemic racism that continues to harm our Indigenous relatives. It is my vision to bring the practice of traditional medicine and holistic healing to Indigenous communities on a larger scale, to teach others how to heal themselves, and bring our Indigenous relatives back to a place of true power guided from the heart. Through ecological and social justice, I envision a world where Indigenous nations are sovereign and self-determined in their own governance, legal, and traditional practices. A world in which colonial forces and unhealthy systems are dismantled to create space for healthy and thriving communities to grow.

Although I have a background in science, I work with plant medicine on an energetic and spiritual level, as I believe that the world needs to remember and include the Spirit for effective healing to take place. It is my great pleasure to be able to work closely with the Plant People for the healing of all, and my joy is in being of service to others. Learning and growing with plants is a lifelong journey and one that pushes one to learn first how to heal oneself, which is the most challenging aspect of the medicine path. I have had to learn to heal my own trauma and victim consciousness from the experiences of abuse, violence, addictions, racism, and oppression, in order to become more aware of myself and to know and understand the meaning of healing and self-love. This path requires great discipline to unlearn social conditioning and honor myself through healthy eating, lifestyle, and spiritual practices which keep me grounded and give me the ability to anchor in the consciousness of love through the internal authority of the heart, for which our Earth and humanity is in great need of at this time.

I have developed an ability to communicate with the Plant Spirits and translate their messages in the form of medicine, to help people understand the meaning and integrate the healing at a root level. I am a proud Indigenous woman who stands strong in my culture. I am deeply committed to my own spiritual development, health and wellness, and cultural revitalization practices. An avid gardener and forest forager, you can find me in the bush or with my hands in the dirt. In the summer season, I am at the farmer’s market booth sharing medicines and knowledge, supporting local business and food, as well as building community. I am passionate about bringing accessible holistic medicine back into our communities. May this work plant the seed of a beautiful blooming into a future full of healthy and thriving people living in harmony with All That Is.

With loving gratitude,

Hiy Hiy!