Student-Faculty Publication: Bringing a Berry Back from the Land of the Dead

An Environmental Studies capstone has led to a co-authored publication for Kimberly Wogahn (’14) and Religion Professor Suzanne Crawford O’Brien.

Wogahn’s senior capstone in Environmental Studies provided a critical assessment of the (predominantly Euroamerican) organic and slow-food movement, placing it in contrast with efforts to improve food accessibility for marginalized and at-risk communities. One aspect of her project focused on the efforts of Coast Salish and other tribal communities to regain food sovereignty—which includes the right to access and steward traditional food resources.

Wogahn and Dr. Crawford O’Brien revised and expanded this capstone project into a book chapter, “Bringing a Berry Back from the Land of the Dead: Coast Salish Huckleberry Cultivation and Food Sovereignty.” The chapter has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming volume Native Foodways in a Global Economy, which will be published by SUNY Press.

In their chapter, Wogahn and Crawford O’Brien explore the efforts of Coast Salish tribes around Puget Sound to cultivate and restore huckleberry habitats. They consider the cultural and spiritual importance of these plants within traditional Coast Salish culture, and the ways in which restoring this species is also working to restore healthy human communities.

Since graduating from PLU, Wogahn has put her degree and her passions into practice. She is currently the Food Resources Program Assistant for Solid Ground, a Seattle-based non-profit working to end poverty and promote social justice in Puget Sound.

by Suzanne Crawford O’brien