Studying the Earth’s past in order to improve its future may be a tried-and-true strategy, but The North Carolina Arboretum brings fresh perspective to the process in its exhibit Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science., on display through May 6, 2018. The national traveling exhibit, proudly sponsored by Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, educates visitors about the ways in which traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and cutting-edge Western science are intertwined to enhance the natural world.
On display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily inside the Arboretum’s Baker Exhibit Center, Roots of Wisdom spotlights four indigenous communities, including the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The exhibit features the voices of elders and youth, engaging video interactives, and hands-on games, whereby visitors can learn about and take part in the growing movement toward sustainability and the incorporation of age-old yet timeless practices into today’s world to restore vital ecosystems, provide sustainable food sources and improve human health.
Each of the indigenous communities featured in the exhibit holds a sacred relationship with its homeland, and it’s the traditional knowledge gleaned from this relationship that helps to complement Western science in its quest for solutions to a multitude of ecological and health challenges. Visitors to the exhibit will come away with a new perspective on some not-so-new methods for drawing from the Earth’s resources for the greater good.
The North Carolina Arboretum, located just south of Asheville on 434 acres of public gardens, has an ongoing history of and keen interest in working with native indigenous communities. Most recently, its Germplasm Repository has joined forces 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. It is this inspiring collaboration to help preserve the Asheville region’s botanical diversity that continues to shine through in exhibits like Roots of Wisdom.
The central mission of the Arboretum, an affiliate institution of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, is to cultivate connections between people and plants. A standard $14 per vehicle parking fee is required for non-members; no other admission fee is required for entry to the exhibit. For more information on the Arboretum and Roots of Wisdom, visit www.ncarboretum.org or call (828) 665-2492.