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California Native Plants – Gathering, Processing & Feasting

Learn to preserve and use native plants from seasoned experts and teaching assistants learning how to carry forward the sacred knowledge of California Native Plants. Stroll through the campus meadow, next to ancient Cahuilla bedrock mortars and learn about the plants surrounding you in an ethnobotany talk. Explore several plants in depth, including Mesquite Beans, Prickly Pear Cactus, Yucca, Elderberry, Stinging Nettle, Chia, Acorn and more. Discover ways to save and utilize these plants from helping the environment to cultural medicine, and learn both traditional and modern sustainable gathering practices, as well as how to prepare and cook these culturally valuable plants. Learn how to make an Elderberry storage tube that can be used to store tea, medicine or offerings. On an evening field trip visit Cahuilla rock art sites in Idyllwild to learn their meaning and the importance of their preservation. Your workshop will conclude with a feast prepared together in class and you will get a book of recipes to take home.

This workshop is conducted with deep gratitude, and in memory of Katherine Siva Saubel, Barbabra Drake, and Daniel McCarthy.

Note: The content learned in this workshop is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation or an endorsement of any particular medical or health treatment. Please consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine, particularly if you have a known medical condition or if you are pregnant or nursing.

  • Notebook
  • Pen/pencil
  • Dollar Store binder/folder for handouts
  • Cooking the Native Way Cookbook (Optional)
  • Comfortable closed-toed shoes for walking

Craig Torres (Tongva) is a member of the Traditional Council of Pimuu and involved with the Ti’aat Society, an organization focused on the revival of the traditional maritime culture of the Southern California coastal region and Southern Channel Islands. He is an artist, as well as a cultural educator, presenter and consultant to schools, culture and nature centers, museums, and city, state and government agencies acting as a consultant on the Tongva. He has also been involved with the organizations Preserving Our Heritage and Chia Café, which provide cooking demos and classes with California native plants. These activities also provide education on the importance of preserving native plants, habitats and landscapes for future generations.

Abe Sanchez is active in the revival and preservation of indigenous arts and foods, with specialties in Southern California Native American basketry and California and Southwest native foods. He has worked with traditional Native American gatherers to learn methods and practices. Abe believes that by teaching people about ancient natural foods and preparations, he can help them make a difference in their health and the environment.

Teaching Assistants: Kateri Madrigal (Mountain Cahuilla) and Starla Madrigal (Mountain Cahuilla)

Native American & Inland Empire Teacher Scholarships 

We recently made some changes to our scholarship application process.

Generous donors have made scholarships and fellowships for adult workshops available on a limited basis for these specific groups:

  1. Native American Community Leaders, Artists, Members, and Teachers
  2. Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students

Scholarships include tuition, lab fee, dorm housing, and all meals provided by the campus dining service. We believe in allowing everyone a chance to experience the transformative power of art at Idyllwild Arts. In order to reach as many as possible with this opportunity we are happy to extend each applicant one scholarship. These scholarships are designed to provide access to arts based educational opportunities that will advance your personal and professional development as well as the Indigenous community(ies) you come from. You are responsible for paying the $50 application fee and transportation to and from campus. A short essay (200 to 750 words) expressing how this opportunity will benefit you and your community is required, we want to hear from you! We also ask that you provide screenshots of your last two W2s so that the scholarship committee can identify financial need and assess the scholarship amount to be offered. We are pleased to offer scholarships in two categories.

  • Full Scholarship: students receive meals, housing, and tuition and lab fee (room and board if applicable).
  • Half Scholarship: students receive approximately half off their tuition (room and board if applicable)

For more detailed information and a Scholarship FAQ please read Adult Scholarships FAQs.

Scholarship Details: 

  1. Native American Community Members, Leaders, Artists, and Teachers
    For adults 19 and older with current tribal affiliation, the scholarship brings community leaders, artists, members, and teachers to workshops at Idyllwild Arts to benefit both the scholarship recipients themselves and those in their schools or tribal communities. Applicants who demonstrate financial need may receive priority. We also offer scholarships for Native American Teens for both the Summer Program and the Academy.
  2. Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students
    For teachers and graduate students from the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and the adjacent areas), this scholarship brings teachers and graduate students to Idyllwild Arts to attend Native American Arts workshops. The Native American Arts Workshops benefit both recipients and their students and communities, providing culturally appropriate instruction and professional development to teachers and graduate students. Applicants with financial needs may receive priority. These scholarships are made possible through the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.

Click here for more information about adult scholarships.

Age: 19 years and above

Dates: June 17-18, 2023

Tuition, room and board: $830

Day student tuition: $390

Lab Fee: $45, includes, materials, food, field trip

Skill Level: All levels

Enrollment is limited to 12 students.

Faculty: Abe Sanchez, Craig Torres, Kateri Madrigal, Starla Madrigal

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