Elise Krohn is passionate about her relationship with plants. As an herbalist, native foods specialist, educator and author, she empowers others in gathering and using wild foods and medicines. Her 22 years of experience includes teaching, clinical practice, developing educational resources and coordinating community education programs.
Building relationships between plants, people, the land and cultural traditions is at the heart of Elise’s work. During her 16 years of experience teaching in tribal communities, she has worked with elders and cultural specialists to create successful community gardens, food sovereignty resources, a program on healing addiction, an interactive board game and several curricula on herbal medicine, native foods and chronic disease prevention. Through leading ‘train the trainers’ workshops, Elise has multiplied the number of educators who are teaching about native foods and herbal medicines in tribal communities. She also has over 10 years of experience as a clinical herbalist, and has authored two books and numerous articles on this and related topics. In 2014-2016, Elise led 65 students through 1 and 2-year wild foods and medicines apprenticeship programs in Olympia, WA, Portland, OR, and on Vancouver Island, B.C.
Elise currently works at Garden Raised Bounty (GRuB), a non-profit organization in Olympia. GRuB’s mission is to inspire personal and community change by bringing people together around food and agriculture. Elise offers community classes on wild foods and medicines and coordinates the Tend, Gather and Grow Project. Since spring of 2016 a team of highly skilled educators, nutrition specialists, community food project coordinators and media experts have gathered to create a teaching toolkit including:
- A curriculum for educators of children ages 5 to16. Lessons include interactive teaching tools (i.e., stories, games and hands-on activities), and fit into STEM education and Next Generation Science Standards
- A guidebook for children and youth chronicling over 25 regional plants with seasonal information, identification, harvesting and preparation techniques, nutritional values and recipes
- Teaching videos featuring Coast Salish storytellers and youth demonstrating their plant knowledge
- An interactive game integrating plant uses throughout the seasons.
The toolkit will be completed in 2018 and the Tend team will offer train the trainer workshops throughout the region.
Elise is a faculty member at Harmony Hill Cancer Retreat Center where she offers nutrition education talks and wellness workshops. For the last four years, she has also served as faculty at the Vital Ways School of Traditional Western Herbalism in Portland, Oregon. Beginning in May of 2017, Elise will co-teach an 8-month training program with Chris Smaka called the Roots Holistic Certificate Program.
Masters in Education in Traditional Foods and Medicines. Lesley University’s Independent Study Degree Program. 2007
Ethnobotany and Ethnonutrition Certification Program. Center for World Indigenous Studies. 2007
The Evergreen State College – Bachelor of Science – Ethnobotany & Pre-medicine, 2001
Apprenticeship with herbalist Joyce Netishen. 2004-2007
Apprenticeship with Skokomish Elder Bruce Miller. 1999-2005
Clinical Strategies and Herbal Therapeutics – 70-hour training in Western constitutional herbal medicine with Adam Seller. 2002
Advanced Herbal Studies with Cascade Anderson Geller. 1999
Apprenticeship in Belize with native healer Albert Jones and other Belizian healers. 1997
Southwest School of Botanical Studies. Certified Clinical Herbalist. 1995
Tribal College Journal Article. Empowered Learning: Bringing Culture into the Classroom. Spring, 2014: 25-3. In Protecting and Preserving Knowledge.
Fourth World Journal Article. “Recovering Health through Cultural Traditions.” Spring 2014. Vol. 12, Num 1. pp. 93-98.
Salish Bounty: Traditional Foods Exhibit at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Contributed photos, audio interview, text and native food samples to exhibit showing from March – June, 2012. Exhibit will travel to tribal museums.
Our Food, Our Right: Recipes for Food Justice. Contributed writing and recipes to a book on building community food sovereignty. Community Alliance for Global Justice, 2012.
Food Sovereignty on Tribal Lands . Think Out Loud Radio Program: Oregon Public Broadcasting. Air date: November 1st, 2011. Guest speaker on the revitalization of native foods systems in the Northwest.
Tribal College Journal . Journal Publication: Volume 22 No. 3. Spring 2011. Food Sovereignty. Native Nutrition: Northwest Indian Treatment Center Honors Culture to Heal the Mind. Page 24
Feeding the People, Feeding the Spirit: Revitalizing Northwest Indian Food culture. Co-authored a book on restoring Puget Sound tribal food systems and creating a modern native foods diet. Available in tribal communities through Northwest Indian College Cooperative Extension. Gorham Printing, 2010
Wild Rose and Western Red Cedar: The Gifts of the Northwest Plants . Wrote and published a book on Northwest plant traditions. Available for tribal communities through Northwest Indian College Cooperative Extension. Gorham Printing, 2007
Democracy and Education Journal. Journal Publication: Volume 17. March, 2008. Indigenous Ways of Knowing. Teaching in Indian Country: A Search for Real Learning. Page 39
The Teachings of the Tree People. Interview in a one-hour film on the life of tribal elder and Skokomish cultural leader Bruce Miller. 2006