The new book on Baja California’s tribal peoples will benefit Comunidad’s scholarship program (BECA)
Michael Wilken-Robertson, author of Kumeyaay Ethnobotany: Shared Heritage of the Californias has announced that part of the proceeds from the book will benefit Comunidad’s BECA program. As one of the founders of the original BECA program, Mike recognizes the profound impact of the scholarship program in helping young Native Baja Californians get through school. “I had been away from the program for many years but recently had the chance to go to the annual fair where the scholarships are distributed. I was astounded to see that from the original 35 or so scholarships, the program had expanded to 267 . What’s more, when we started, there were no university students, and now there are 58. It is really making a difference in the lives of these young people who might otherwise not have the opportunity to get through school.”
The book is based on Wilken-Robertson’s lifelong collaborative relationships with native plant specialists, artists and traditional authorities to foster cultural revitalization and sustainable community development. It provides basic background on Baja’s native peoples, including their ancient history, descriptions from historical period documents and ethnographies, indigenous languages, and contemporary life.
Kumeyaay Ethnobotany explores the remarkable interdependence between native peoples and native plants of the Californias through in-depth descriptions of 47 native plants and their uses, lively narratives, and hundreds of vivid photographs. It connects the archaeological and historical record with living cultures and native plant specialists who share their ever-relevant wisdom for future generations.
“I am delighted to know that the book can help support this important program,” explains Wilken-Robertson, “…and I hope it will inspire others to do the same.”
Kumeyaay Ethnobotany is published by Sunbelt Press and can be found by