Photographs of Karen Brooks harvesting wild plants and plants she talks about in her oral history interview.
Karen Brooks is Yup’ik and Siberian Yup'ik of Qaluyaaq (Nelson Island, Alaska) a member of Too Naaleł Denh Nation (Manley Hot Springs Tribe) of the Bidziyhta Hut’aana (Caribou Clan). Her parents were Rose and Al Hagen from Manley Hot Springs, Alaska, and her grandparents were Helen and Fred Miller from Takotna, Alaska. Karen has been a health and wellness practitioner for over 45 years, bridging traditional health-based practices with modern complementary and alternative medicine approaches. She utilizes traditional plant and spirit medicine, prepares her own plant oils, essences and tinctures, and also utilizes Yup'ik drumming to journey to the spirit world and communicate with plants. Her interest in plants and traditional medicine practices developed as a child and she started asking Elders questions and learned age-old practices of harvesting, processing and using plants. Her knowledge expanded during her time working as a Community Health Aid in Manley Hot Springs, and with instruction from a trained herbalist. Karen is a co-founder of Traditions in Healing, an Alaska Native traditional healing and ethnomedicine clinic and retreat center.