The Chia Cafe Collective will be teaching their annual 2-day workshop at Idyllwild Summer Arts, July 1-2, focusing on California Native Plants: Contemporary and Traditional Medicinal Uses.
Featured teachers include Barbara Drake, Craig Torres, Daniel McCarthy, Abe Sanchez, along with CCC members Tima Lotah Link, Heidi Perez, Leslie Mouriquand, Lorene Sisquoc, and Deborah Small.
Class Description from the Idyllwild Arts website:
“Learn to preserve and use native plants from seasoned experts. Stroll through the campus meadow next to ancient Cahuilla bedrock mortars, and learn about the plants surrounding you in an ethnobotany talk. Discover the secret lives of plants and seeds you usually look right past, including prickly pear cactus, white sage, elderberry, stinging nettle, pine sap and rose hips. Learn to use native plants to treat ailments, such as skin conditions, fight colds and flus and utilize teas and drinks for preventive medicine. You will get to make your own elderberry tube to store teas, medicine or offerings, make your own skin salves, herbal tea bags and other items. Visit Cahuilla rock art sites in Idyllwild to learn their meaning and the importance of their preservation. This workshop is dedicated to the instructors’ teacher, Katherine Siva Saubel, with deep gratitude.”
Bios of the four featured teachers:
Craig Torres (Tongva) is a member of the Traditional Council of Pimu and involved with the Ti’at Society, an organization focused on the revival of the traditional maritime culture of the Southern California coastal region and Southern Channel Islands. He is an artist, educator and consultant who works with schools, cultural and nature centers, museums, and government agencies. He has helped create cooking demonstrations and classes using native California plants for Preserving Our Heritage and Chia Café.
Barbara Drake (Tongva) is a tribal elder and culture keeper. Her program, Preserving Our Heritage, is a bank of native foods collected, preserved and processed for tribal elders. She is a member of the Mother Earth Clan, a group of Southern California Native American women educators who have taught extensively in museums, schools and tribal institutions. She is also a founding member of the Chia Café Collective.
Daniel McCarthy earned his BS and MS in anthropology from UC Riverside. For the past 40 years, he has worked at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Joshua Tree National Park and throughout Southern California compiling photographic inventories of rock art sites. He has worked with elders and traditional practitioners for more than 35 years and served as the Tribal Relations Program manager for the San Bernardino National Forest for 17 years. He is currently director, CRM Department, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
Abe Sanchez is active in the revival and preservation of indigenous arts and foods, with specialties in Southern California Native American basketry and California and Southwest native foods. He has worked with traditional Native American gatherers to learn methods and practices. Abe believes that by teaching people about ancient natural foods and preparations, he can help them make a difference in their health and the environment.