College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

Social Sciences Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Anthropology and Geography



Primary Advisor

Terry Jones, College of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences Department


Humans are inseparable from the natural environment. We are one and the same, interconnected within the ecology of creation and care, not only destruction. By grounding ourselves in Indigenous wisdom and the principles of Traditional Ecological Knowledge, we are more able to recognize the important relational facets between humans and three native Californian plants (California black walnut, California blue elderberry, California bay laurel). In introducing Kimmerer’s concept of re-naturalization of humans, we can draw a connection to the same process a naturalized plant undergoes; immigration from a foreign place, dependence on the surrounding resources, and settlement of an area without disrupting other species. These three biologically culturally, and spiritually important plants are introduced to raise awareness of their historical connection with humans, their potential future relationship with humans, and the danger of their invisibility. By delving into specifics of each native plant, we can more readily envision a future where the lessons of these plants inform human action. As we learn more about the plants that surround us, we therefore become more connected to our environment, taking steps towards humans re-naturalization and a culture of respect and reciprocity.