Our Story

Our Story

Kodiak Herbal Metis Health & Culture was born out of our desire to share Michif ancestral knowledge. Through workshops and tourism experiences, we express our cultural connection to the Metis Homelands of the Canadian Prairies. Animals, plants, trees, & fungi of Southern Alberta provided a richly cultural lifestyle to the first Metis settlers to arrive here in Blackfoot land. Our unique position at the border between European & First Nations communities allows us to be the People of Two Worlds. We seek to share this experience with locals & visitors who come to Kodiak Herbal.

Our Homeland

Kodiak Herbal Metis Culture lives & operates on traditional Blackfoot territory in the region of Treaty 7. This land is the ancestral home of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Kainai, Piikani, Siksika, Tsuu T’ina & Stoney Nakoda First Nations). Our family came to Southern Alberta Eight generations ago. We are grateful to be in this beautiful land.

“A Nations Culture Resides in the Hearts of Its People”

The Michif people who now reside in Alberta are not the original occupants of this place. We came first as traders, becoming friends and kin to the First Nations of Alberta, eventually moving West to escape persecution & disenfranchisement. Our family brought culture & teachings with us from the Red River Valley, giving up a trading lifestyle to open a cattle ranch in Pincher Creek.

How Kodiak Herbal Got Our Name

A shaggy brown bear, larger than life, accosted Kalyn Kodiak in a series of dreams, while she was still just a youth in college learning to be a herbalist. The bear became a friend and a guide, and is now the namesake of our small business.

The word Kodiak comes from the Унаӈан (Aleutian) Peoples of islands in the sea between Alaska and Russia. There is no word for this bear in the english or michif language, instead a loan-word was borrowed from Aluutiq and anglicized as “Kodiak”. While there are Grizzlies and Black Bears in Alberta, we have no Kodiak Bears in here.

About Kalyn Kodiak – Metis Herbalist & Cultural Guide

“Taanishi, ni sekason Kalyn Kodiak. Ni faamii ochi kii wiikiw oota Kuskusukasay-guni, eskwe le parwess di Saent Xavier.Ni aen docteur du raisin, eskwe aen aapikayahk di sayncheur flayshii. Ni oma les Michif, otipemsonan. Kah keyo ni wah ko maka nak! Ni nanaskomon. Maarsi.” -Michif Traditional Introduction

A proud Metis & 2Spirit person, Kalyn is descended from a lineage of healers, teachers, & artists. She is a founding member & the current President of the Alberta Herbalists Association.

Kalyn spends her days immersed in the life long learning of Metis traditional medicine and cultural arts. She began working with plant medicines at the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing in 2006 under the tutelage of Dr. Terry Willard and became a Clinical Herbalist at Wild Rose Clinic in 2012.

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Walking on the edge of two worlds, Kalyn is a student of Michif Lifeways and modern western medical research regarding phytochemicals. She is a resource on traditional medicines to the Metis communities of Southern Alberta, and aen aapikayahk sayncheur flayshii (Metis sash weaver).

Kalyn loves to teach, and hosts workshops in health and herbs, Metis traditions, plant identification & cultural art. She has been honored to visit numerous schools, youth and community groups as a culture teacher and herbalist. She is a passionate guide to locals & tourists who wish to learn about the Metis of Southern Alberta.

4 Replies to “Our Story”

  1. Hi Kalyn: Very much enjoyed your teaching of medicinal herbs,today at the 8Th.Fire
    I remembered the sting neetles,tumeric,yet I forgot the other root?
    Also,I tried to google ‘Rose Mountain”and ended up with Mountain Rose from Oregon,US.
    Is it the same?
    I’m very interested in”the root”the relaxing,happy one.
    Could you please advise me about obtaining some.
    Also,anything else that you can think of that would be relavent.
    Thank you.
    Looking forward to your response.
    Sincerely,
    Mark Brown.

    1. Hi Mark,

      The root in question is Kava (Piper methysticum in latin). Mountain Rose Herbs is a good source to order from. If you e-mail me at kalyn@kodiakherbal.com I will
      send you the notes version of the presentation from the Fire Gathering. Thanks for commenting on my website!

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