Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

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Harvesting Artemisia_small.jpgThe Ethnobotany, Ethnomedicine and Traditional Healing Project Jukebox highlights Alaska Native Elders talking about their traditional uses and connections with plants. It includes archived recordings from the Oral History Collection at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and oral history interviews conducted in 2021 and 2022 by a team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Ethnobotany Program (EBOT).

Ethnobotany is the study of the relationships between people and plants. The traditional use of plants for healing and food goes back thousands of years in Alaska's Native cultures, but ethnobotany as an academic discipline is relatively new. It combines concepts from the humanities and the sciences, mainly anthropology and botany, to explore traditional Native practices and connections to plants, Native language terminology, and plant science.

This Jukebox project was completed in 2022 and was a collaboration between UAF EBOT Program staff (project development and management by Lisa Strecker, EBOT Assistant Professor; interviewing by Jennifer Andrulli, EBOT Cultural Advisor; transcribing and interviewing by Stefani Burich; and assistance from Aihs Palmer, EBOT Program Assistant) and the staff of the UAF Oral History Program (project planning by Leslie McCartney, Curator of Oral History; Jukebox development by Karen Brewster, Research Associate; and oral history collection assistance from Robyn Russell, Collections Manager). This work is supported by the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Ethnobotany Program Kuskokwim Campus with funding from the Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Education Competitive Grants Program (ANNH) from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (grant number 2020-38426-32342/project accession number 1023459). The information in this project reflects the context of the original creation date. Some information may now be out of date.


Karen Brooks Karen Brooks

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... Read More