Topics Covered

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In the Apprenticeship, students learn about the natural cycles of the earth and the gifts of the seasons. The following is a list of some of the topics experienced in the Apprenticeship:

  • Survival strategy
  • Fire (bow drill, flint & steel, tinder, tipi, etc.)
  • Water (gathering, purification)
  • Survival shelter (natural, debris hut, tarp, poncho)
  • Edible plants (botanical terminology, identification, foraging, root gathering, etc.)
  • Medicinal plants & herbal first aid (salves, balms, tinctures, poultices, infusions)
  • Primitive hunting (ethics, strategy, stalking, still hunting, instinctive shooting)
  • Primitive fishing (spearing, atl atl, dip netting, weirs, traps)
  • Weapons (throwing stick, atl atl, bow & arrow, bola)
  • Trapping
  • Skinning and cleaning animals (ex: fish, squid, clams, birds, small game)
  • Brain tanning (fleshing, scraping, braining, smoking)
  • Primitive cooking (steam pit, rock frying, spit cooking, coal cooking, ash cakes)
  • Drying & preserving
  • Pemmican
  • Bow Making
  • Arrow making (fletching, wrapping, cresting)
  • Flintknapping
  • Boneworking
  • Sign tracking
  • Awareness
  • Cordage (leaves, bark, rootlets, woody stalks, intestine, rawhide, sinew)
  • Cedar basketry (checker weave, twined, & coil techniques)
  • Stone working
  • Acorn processing
  • Beading
  • Net weaving
  • Primitive pigments
  • Eulachon oil
  • Fish smoking
  • Glues (hide, pitch)
  • Coal burning
  • Diagnostic/acupressure points for healing

Past apprentices have participated in several exciting field trips, including:

  • Turkey hunting
  • Clamming
  • Squidding
  • Dipping for smelt
  • Plant foraging throughout the year

Students learn an average of one new plant per week throughout the program. Some important plants covered include:

  • Milkweed
  • Cattail
  • Clover
  • Red Dock
  • Burdock
  • Mullein
  • Dogbane
  • Oak
  • Elder
  • Cedar
  • Rose
  • Dandelion
  • Cottonwood
  • Coltsfoot
  • Douglas Fir
  • Cherry
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Day Lily
  • Hooker’s Onion
  • Camas
  • Chicory
  • Lamb’s Quarters
  • Willow
  • Oregon Grape
  • Yarrow

Students not only have the opportunity to learn about the abundance of food the Earth provides, they also get to sample or prepare those gifts. Some examples include:

  • Fried Razor Clams
  • Sauteed Squid
  • Smelt (smoked, fried)
  • Large Game (elk or deer)
  • Steam Pit Cooked Trout
  • Spit Cooked Salmon
  • Spit Cooked Wild Bird
  • Small Game
  • Elder Jelly
  • Stinging Nettle Ale
  • Dandelion Pesto
  • Rose Hip Vinegar
  • Rose Hip Honey
  • Rose Petal Honey
  • Acorn Flour Muffins
  • Steam Pit Cooked Camas Bulbs
  • Dock Seed Crackers
  • Stinging Nettle Pizza
  • Day Lily Salad
  • Pemmican
  • Dandelion Coffee
  • Marinated Dandelion Root
  • Coltsfoot Fritters
  • Clover Fritters
  • Pineapple Weed Tea
  • Lamb’s Quarter’s Soup
  • Prickly Pear Salad
  • Sautéed Cattail Shoot & Burdock Root with Wild Onions

The Apprenticeship Program is designed to be hands-on. Students complete the program with many items for use in their daily lives and for further practice. Past apprentices have brought home these and additional items, taught and created in class:

  • Bow and arrow
  • Survival kit
  • Herbal first aid kit (salves, tinctures, balms, dried herbs, etc.)
  • Fire kit
  • Cedar bark basket
  • Section of brain tanned hide
  • Plant press
  • Herbarium collection
  • Cordage (sinew, woody talk, rootlets, leaves, rawhide, intestine)
  • Glue sticks (hide & pitch)
  • Fish spear & atl atl
  • Knapped arrow head & obsidian for knapping
  • Pressure flaker
  • Rawhide sewing kit with rawhide thimble, bone needle, sinew thread
  • Slate ulu knife
  • Bone flesher
  • Beaded medicine pouch
  • Stone bowl and grinder
  • Eulachon oil
  • Nettle ale
  • Rawhide parchment painted with primitive pigment
  • Netting shuttle