As a little girl in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Aalasi learned from her mother how to identify and harvest plants. Later, a mother herself, and living in Niaqunnguuq (Apex), she continued the practice, living off the land and passing her knowledge on to the next generation. In this introductory guide to traditional plant use—originally published as Walking with Aalasi—Aalasi shares her memories and knowledge of eighteen plants commonly found in the Canadian Arctic.
From plant identification and environmentally respectful collection to traditional uses and recipes, Edible and Medicinal Arctic Plants teaches readers how to reap the benefits of the natural world around them.
Aalasi Joamie was born in Inukjuak, Quebec. Her family moved to Pangnirtung when she was a young girl. In the 1960s, she moved to Niaqunnguuq (Apex) with her husband and children into their first house. She has lived there ever since. For many years, Aalasi worked as a maternity aid at Baffin Regional Hospital. Aalasi contributed to Interviewing Inuit Elders: Perspectives on Traditional Health and she teaches traditional plant knowledge workshops at Nunavut Arctic College. She also travels to traditional plant-use conferences nationally and internationally. Anna Ziegler lives in Iqaluit, where she works at Nunavut Arctic College as an instructor and regional program coordinator. She is the co-author of Tukisigiaruti Qaujisaqtulirinirmut: A Life Sciences Handbook for Nunavut Educators. She first met Aalasi at Aalasi's famous free community sewing lessons. Rebecca Hainnu, a recent graduate of the Nunavut Teacher Education Program, lives in Clyde River where she works as an elementary school teacher. She has worked on several educational publications with the Nunavut Teacher Education Program and the Nunavut Bilingual Education Society, including Math Activities for Nunavut Classrooms: Grades 1, 2, and 3 and Classifying Vertebrates.