Framed Art Card - Medicine Grounds (9" x 12")

Artist: Andy Everson

My people have always been intimately connected with their territory. They knew the best fishing spots, clamming beds and berry-picking places. This information was passed down through thousands of generations and was held as important and often sacred knowledge. When my mom was only about four years old she was given some of this knowledge. Her granny and her dad brought her out to one of our beaches here in the Comox Valley to pick some valuable medicine. My great-grandmother would clear areas around the plant to help with its propagation. She would pick with both hands—one to put the seeds in her apron and the other to spread the seeds and ensure future growth.

In English, they call it Indian Consumption Plant or Bare-Stem Desert-Parsley. We call it K’axamin. For people throughout our territory, this has always been an important medicine. It helps singers with their sore throats and provides relief from cough and tuberculosis. Used by individuals and on canoes, it also provides a form of protection that cannot be conveyed here in words.

This is the way it has always been—we gather our medicine from our own land. In recent times, however, fewer and fewer people have the knowledge about the healing plants and where to find them. By bringing members of my family out to pick, my mother has ensured that this treasure will be passed down to future generations. She has scattered her own seeds and propagated growth of the “Medicine Grounds.”

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