Abalone and Seaweed Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Our Original Instructions for Harvesting the Ocean

We Indigenous people have ceremonies, ancestral teachings, cultural practices and strict rules for harvesting all of our resources. Sometimes we pray and talk to our plants before collecting them, assuring them we’ll do no harm and that we’ll leave them the ability to continue their life cycles and their ability to regenerate.

Shellfish and seaweeds have been important parts of the West Coast Indigenous diet for thousands of years, but this ongoing legacy is under threat by ecosystem disruption and discriminatory harvesting regulations. Through discussion, demonstrations and hands-on activities, California Indian TEK experts will share the importance of intertidal resources to the traditional diet, to clothing manufacturing and ceremonial life. They will also discuss ways to address ongoing threats to these cultural practices. First Peoples have a saying, “When the tide is out, the table is set.” If we cannot change harvesting practices together, we will not have food on our tables.

Showcase Theater

October 18, 2019 | 11:00 am to Noon