Running Squirrel is a native Cherokee who carries tribal knowledge passed down from his ancestors. Foraging helps connect him to these lost traditions, to sustainable lessons first learned in his childhood.
near Dougan Falls
Skamania County, WA
29 September 2010
Respect Mother Earth. Respect the land. Learn from the animals. When foraging always leave something behind for whoever comes next. In this way you’re sure to find something when you come back.
“If only the top three leaves are taken, a plant will regrow. If cut off at the ground, it dies. Most people, they want the whole plant.”
WHEN THE INDIANS CAME UPON A NEW LAND AND DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO EAT, THEY ASKED MOTHER EARTH FOR GUIDANCE. Her answer was to eat what the animals eat: elk eat ferns, skunk cabbage and licorice root. Deer search for miners lettuce and wood sorrel. Rabbits like licorice root. Running Squirrel mixes it all together for his famous WILD SALAD: lemon balm, mustard and wood sorrel (for a “dry taste”) + miners lettuce, wood violets and chick weed (for “moistness”).
ABOUT RUNNING SQUIRREL
Running Squirrel’s parents arrived to Chinook country when he was about 10 years old. His father had a little farm in Oregon and they always traded with other Indians, mostly for fish. His mother was the one who showed him how to forage, which he still does to this day.