The Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society in conjunction with Sandpoint Parks and Recreation have monthly presentations at the Sandpoint Community Hall, 204 S. First Avenue. The meetings are held from 9:45 - 11:30 AM.
Saturday, April 29th
Bill Harp: Comparison of the human use of plants by prehistoric people in Idaho to a present-day subsistence culture in eastern Panama
Abstract: One of the best ways to understand your own ecological and cultural geography is to look at the characteristics of a very different ecology and culture. The plant communities of the inland northwest are very different from the tropical ecosystems of the Darién region of eastern Panama, one of the last great wild natural areas of the Americas. The Emberá people still live as a relatively intact subsistence culture that survives by gathering, fishing and hunting that have many characteristics in common with prehistoric cultures from the inland northwest. This includes the concepts of spirits, cosmology and the importance of plants and animals in their spiritual beliefs, as well as the use of plants for food and medicine.
Bio: Bill is a fifth-generation Idahoan who has worked for many years as a anthropologist in both North Idaho and Panama. During his time in Panama he did research among the Emberá people in eastern Panama, spent many years working for the U.S. Department of Defense specialized in mapping technology applications in defense and intelligence, and as a program manager for the United Nations in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment.
Bill has recently retired after three years of public service as the Director, Technology for Bonner County Government. Bill and his wife Susan, also an archeologist, writer and anthropologist, alternate between their country homesteads in Panama and Sagle, where they maintain subsistence gardens and orchards.