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Arboretum blends Native American knowledge with modern science

The North Carolina Arboretum, a 434-acre public garden just south of Asheville in Pisgah National Forest, will showcase the relationship between indigenous peoples and cutting-edge science at its newest exhibit, Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge, Shared Science. On display Saturday, Jan.27, through Sunday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.Shown inside the Arboretum’s Baker Exhibit Center, this national traveling exhibit educates visitors about the ways in which the traditional knowledge of native peoples and Western science are woven together to improve the natural world.

Featuring four indigenous communities, including the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Roots of Wisdom shares inspiring stories of environmental and cultural restoration that society faces today.

Through the voices of elders and youth, video interactives and hands-on games, visitors will gather resources, examine data and take part in the growing movement toward sustainability and the reclamation of age-old practices.

“At the Arboretum, our exhibits and educational programming often blend traditional heritage practices with modern science to help create a stronger connection between people and the natural world,” explained George Briggs, executive director of The North Carolina Arboretum.

“Roots of Wisdom aligns perfectly with this mission, and we are excited to share it with our members and visitors.”

From restoring ecosystems to rediscovering traditional foods and crafts, Roots of Wisdom invites guests to understand the important issues that indigenous cultures face and discover innovative ways in which age-old traditions and Western science can work together to restore vital ecosystems, provide sustainable food sources and improve human health.

The Arboretum’s Germ-plasm Repository has worked with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, United South and Eastern Tribes, and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to assist in conserving traditional ecological knowledge through a variety of initiatives.

For more information on the Arboretum and Roots of Wisdom, please visit www.ncarboretum.org.

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