New website, workshops, and new book

By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Keepers of the Seasons is putting the ‘new’, in the new year starting with the launch of its new website this February to showcase the many teachings and workshops offered.

“We were going through a redesign for the website at the end of 2022 and relaunched the website in February 2023,” said Keepers of the Season co-owner, Darcy Fisher. “The inspiration for the redesign came from personal growth and understanding what we would like to achieve through our business. Additionally, we wanted to add more of our ancestral and Indigenous identity to the webpage.”

Keepers of the Seasons co-owner, Jenny (Kootenai) Fisher, is from the Salish and Pend d’Oreilles First Nation, also known as the Kalispel people in Northwest Plateau and Montana. Darcy, born in Canada, is Ktunaxa and from the ?akisq?nuk First Nation, where he is an acting elected council member. Keepers of the Seasons operates out of Arlee, Montana, which is a part of the Flathead Indian Reservation and part of the Ktunaxa Traditional Territory, which runs along the Columbia River.

Keepers of the Seasons offers an array of online workshops such as: Walking Through the Seasons, Wild Foraging and Healing on the Land, and All Living Things: Journey to Wellness, through our Ancestors Footsteps. Indigenous Connectedness, which Jenny describes as an introduction to mindfulness.

“I think we are both excited for the chance to continue our work with the Ktunaxa Nation within ?amak?is Ktunaxa, to be on the land and bringing our teachings to new learners, said Darcy. “Also, being closer to spring, we will be having several on-the-land classes/workshops where people will be able to get their hands dirty and harvest some first foods. These events usually carry through to our seasonal feasts and campouts that we do during the year.”

Jenny added, “We get excited about all the work we do… when we can teach young people and be reminded to see the world through the same wonderment of a child –  way they communicate to all living things (?a·kxam?is q?api qapsin’).”

Jenny and Darcy are not only changing with the seasons but walking through them with their new book they co-wrote, Walking Through the Seasons-Ethnobotany of the Ktunaxa and Interior Salish. Darcy said the book had been in the making for years and the formatting to publish it began in August 2022.  It’s knowledge within, a combination of both the experience and learning during Jenny and Darcy’s lifetime. 

“I love plants and all they gift to us,” said Jenny. “I have family that have left their knowledge and love for plants through their recollection in written form and to share our stories and knowledge feels like the best way to honour their memory.” 

Darcy adds, “I’d echo what Jenny said, in that we honour ourselves and future generations. The book has valuable plant knowledge coupled with our personal stories and experience of walking through the seasons. We are planning on having the book available (including having) physical copies to hand out at our different events.”

The workshops and courses offered though Keepers of the Seasons not only aim to inspire and influence positive change and healing but delve into personal and professional growth. 

“Our goal is to continue sharing our knowledge and to have more teaching experiences and events,” said Darcy. Jenny added,

“We hope that people can grow their personal experiences with all living things (?a·kxam?is q?api qapsin’). We hope that we can inspire more people to learn the language of the plants, nurture young and new learners, and have more events for people to attend, and to spend more time in B.C. – specifically up there in the valley.”