In A Cree Healer and His Medicine Bundle for the first time a Native healer (Russell Willier) shares his knowledge of herbal medicines in writing.
Willier was born and still lives on the Sucker Creek Reserve in northern Alberta, Canada where he received the medicine bundle of his great grandfather, Moostoos. His voice and personality shine clearly through this book offering fascinating insights into his life, ethos and beliefs. This includes why he chose to now share this information – the danger that the traditional knowledge of elders is dying out with many traditional medicines being lost when Native children were sent to residential schools which also severed language and family relationships.
Part two of the book presents Willier’s medicine bundle – the plants used in his healing practice themselves with detailed descriptions of each plant, illustrated with photographs and additional information by Robert Rogers. The plants are listed with the scientific name, the common English name and the Cree and English names used by Willier with details including Cree information, folk uses, properties and cautions. Many of these plants are also common throughout the UK and Europe but for those in the Alberta area (or able to travel) there is also an appendix of maps where Willier collects his herbs.
A fascinating and very informative book which will be of great interest to anyone interested in natural or complimentary healing, herbalists and anyone interested in boreal forest plants as well as many others. Very highly recommended!
A Cree Healer and His Medicine Bundle was reviewed by June Kent, editor of Indie Shaman magazine and this review appeared in Issue 26.
David Young, Robert Rogers & Russell Willier. A Cree Healer and His Medicine Bundle. North Atlantic Books (9 July 2015). ISBN: 978-1-58394-903-0.