Project: Nudnelyahi Qudulyi Dena’ina Plants as Food and Medicine Conference
Grantee: Kenaitze Indian Tribe
Photos and Captions by: Deb Nyquist
Story by: Denora Studnek

It is hard to know where to start; the participation fee in this program was well worth every penny. From the arrangements on the tables to the catering of the food, plus recipes for lotion, foods, teas; and material including maps, presenter introductions, conference schedule, and name tags. The folks who participated in the panels, traditional healers, and many in the audience were very prepared with their presentations. And the information brought to us was outstanding. Everyone in the room seemed to be relating to many of their concerns which were then discussed. People were excited to be informed about items which they did not have all the knowledge they needed to proceed forward, now we do. Before we left on the second day, the “buzz” was that we all wanted to be made aware of the next Plants as Food and Medicine Conference!

In this day and age when we are unsure about worldwide situations, it was like fresh air to hear that this Dena’ina group is looking forward to developing and renewing the culture of the Dena’ina peoples.

I believe this 2 day presentation “Dena’ina Plants as Food and Medicine Conference: Learning Traditional Plant Knowledge, Ethical Harvest, and Responsible Stewardship,” which was presented on September 16th and 17th, 2017, should receive an award. A humanity award would be so appropriate!


Locally harvested snacks served during Chayi ch’uzhezhni (Let’s drink tea)


Nudnelyahi Qudulyi (Dena’ina Plants as Food and Medicine Conference) was held at the Dena’ina Wellness Center


Dena’ina language included in the materials and centerpieces; Ts’elveni (Wormwood), Garandash (writing tool), and Hushtnila (Roseroot) are shown