Mashkiki Gaagiigido-Medicine Talk with Patricia Toulouse


Patricia Toulouse shares her knowledge in traditional mashkiki (medicine) over a series of monthly talks as she shares what medicines are in season.

The topic of discussion in Patricia’s talk yesterday was mitigoog (trees).  Patricia shared methods of harvesting the medicines from each tree, and the benefits each mitig (tree) has to offer.

Tamarack Buds

Mashkiigwaatig is the tamarack tree, and means “swamp tree”. This medicine holds many healing properties in both the bark, and the needles.  Depending on how the medicine is harvested, mashiigwaatig is good for gut health as a probiotic, skin care, and so much more.

Mashkiigwaatig is known as the “2 Spirit tree”, as it is the only evergreen tree that loses their needles in the winter, and gains new life in the spring when their buds begin to grow again.

Red Willow


The grey and red willow is used in Kinikinik, a mixture of tobacco and medicines that can be used in place of Semah (tobacco) when used in offerings and prayers.  This mitig also holds healing properties of aspirin in its bark.

Patricia shares that at first contact and beyond, medicine people were persecuted for practicing natural healing methods, and settlers attempted to diminish the medicine practice of First Nations people.

Patricia will be hosting more mashkiki gaagiigido (medicine talks) as different medicines become available in the changing seasons.

Thank you for sharing your mashkiki gaagiigido with the community Patricia!