Sunday, December 3, 2023
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Learn How Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Used Local Plants
Native Americans used almost every part of the arrowleaf balsamroot--so common in the Wood River Valley--for food and medicine. The Blackfoot even burned its roots as an incense, bathing the runner who would run more than 20 miles in a day to herd buffalo to buffalo jumps in the smoke.
Wednesday, November 15, 2023


Learn how Idaho’s indigenous people relied on local native plants to survive in the Gem State’s harsh climate on Thursday night.

Naturalist Kristin Fletcher, one of the leaders of the Idaho Native Plant Society’s Wood River Chapter, will offer the free presentation at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, at Hailey’s Town Center West. The program is being held in conjunction with Native American Heritage Month.

Fletcher said that native Shoshoni, Bannock and other Idaho indigenous tribes Native Americans used a variety of native plants, including willow, currant and chokecherry shrubs and pine and pinyon cones and needles, for food, medicine, construction materials, tools and ceremonial objects.

She hopes to engender an appreciation for their practices with her presentation.

“I’ve always loved plants and, in my estimation, our native species are best,” commented Kristin Fletcher, who is also the library’s programs and community engagement manager, “As I delved deeper, I also learned about how I could use some for food and medicine.”


The Wood River Chapter of the Idaho Native Plant Society was formed in the late 1980s to promote interest in native plants in the area. It offers free monthly wildflower walks and other presentations.

The chapter will host a Botany Bingo game for prizes during its December potluck meeting. The public is invited to bring a dish to share and their own plate, cup and utensils to the meeting which will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Hailey’s Town Center West.  The organization will supply beverages. To learn more, visit

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