Indigenous Peoples' Day

October 9, 2023
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Missouri Botanical Garden
Share this event

Join us for activities, films, and speakers exploring the Indigenous cultures that called the land that the Missouri Botanical Garden sits on today home and the native plants that once covered this region. 

Times vary. All activities are included with Garden admission.

Presentation at the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center's Leila J. and David N. Farr Auditorium 
9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and noon
Educator, advocate, and storyteller Rev. Dr. Tiffany West shares stories that have been passed down from generation to generation about native plants and their medicinal use. 

Throughout her formative years, Tiffany's family would travel throughout the United States of America helping communities repair what had been broken, build outreach programs, and help those who needed assistance. It was this lifestyle that showed Tiffany the value of her parents gifts, sacrifices, and ministry. She decided at a young age that whatever she did was not important as long as she was building others up.  
She holds a PhD in Theology, Bachelors and Masters in Education, and an Associates in Merchandising and Interior Design. She has been a minister since 2006 focusing in outreach, youth, orphanages, HIV awareness, recovery, houseless ministry, and battered women and children. In addition, she has 15+ years of teaching/training experience. Leadership Development became a passion of hers in 2019 and she has actively worked to develop leaders in multiple industries, levels, and locations while utilizing educational theories to ensure the principles are not just appreciated but retained to make the biggest possible difference. 
She has received many awards locally, nationally, and internationally. What she is most proud of is not the awards, publications, etc. but the people she has invested in and their success.  

Film Screenings at the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center's Leila J. and David N. Farr Auditorium
Gather (2020)
Screening at 2 p.m. 
An intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political, and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. Gather follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona), opening an indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation (South Dakota), conducting landmark studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from the Yurok Nation (Northern California), trying to save the Klamath river. 

Smoke Signals (1998)
Screening at 6:30 p.m.
On a Coeur d'Alene, an Idaho reservation, nothing ever changes until the estranged father of Victor Joseph bites the dust in Arizona and Victor must collect the cremated remains. Victor can't afford the fare, but annoying nerd Thomas Builds-the-Fire will float Victor a loan if Thomas can tag along. This tale of self-discovery is based on acclaimed author Sherman Alexie's short stories.

Storytelling at the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center's Lelia J. and David N. Farr Auditorium
Priscilla Nieto & Harvey Abeyta
Presentations occur throughout the day
Priscilla Nieto and Harvey Abeyta grew up and live in the community of Santo Domingo. They both create beaded necklaces and other jewelry from hand-cut stones and shells. Their five children also help in the family business, making for a very hard-working and creative family. 
Priscilla learned at her parents’ side, and she remembers the techniques that were used before power tools and other tools were available, including hand sanding beads on sandstone and using hand-powered drills. Steeped in this tradition, the family makes traditional necklaces using materials that were not available to the community in the past, including such uncommon stones as green Russian agate. 

Brookings Exploration Center
Nature’s Medicine Cabinet 
Visitors will learn about some of the plants used by Indigenous cultures for medicinal uses. Visitors will engage in a matching game between native plants, their historical uses, and their modern medicinal counterparts. Visitors will gain an understanding and appreciation of the generational knowledge possessed by Indigenous cultures. This program is planned to be provided from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  

Indigenous Story Time 
Members of the Garden's school programs team will be providing readings of storybooks that highlight Indigenous cultures and characters. Staff will be present between 9 a.m.  
and 11 a.m. 

Children's Garden
Rattlesnake Master Cordage 
Visitors will learn one way of making cordage from rattlesnake master leaves. Rattlesnake master was used by native cultures, such as the Osage, for a multitude of uses, one of which as a source of fiber. Visitors will gain an understanding and appreciation for the work that goes into processing natural material. This program will be offered from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

Native Prairie Plants/Mock Vouchers/Prairie Advocates Native People 
Staff from Litzsinger Road Ecology Center will be showing native plant collection vouchers, talking about the process of collecting plant specimens and how to preserve them. Discussions will focus on plants and people, the importance between their interactions, and what visitors can do to help preserve and protect wild ecosystems. 

Native Plant Ambassador 
A member of the therapeutic horticulture team will be present to discuss native plants, and their benefits for one's well-being and the overall ecosystem. Staff will be present from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. 

Plant Lab
9 a.m.–noon

Native Plants & Rainscaping 
Staff from the Garden's EarthWays Center will be present to discuss rainscaping, and the benefits of native plants in rainscaping plantings.  

Native Plants & Native People 
A Garden volunteer will be present to further discuss the relationship between Indigenous cultures and the native plants. The volunteer will share how a variety of native plants were used in the creation of food, dyes, tools, infrastructure, and medicinally.  

Native Seed Packets 
Visitors will be able to create their own native seed packet. While folding their packet they will learn about the care needs of their seeds, and the benefits of native plantings.