Ohkehteau (Plants of the Earth): A Shinnecock Oral History

Ohkehteau (Plants of the Earth): A Shinnecock Oral History - Maple

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
Native Flora Garden
Running time 0:44

Settlers began to study the maple tree closely, just as they have with many other things they’ve witnessed my ancestors doing. As a matter of fact, the settler John Smith, which many of you probably know about, was one of the first to describe the sugar-making process used by Native Americans on maple trees. He noted other interesting maple tree uses, like how Native Americans brewed cough medicine from the tree’s inner bark. We still use this tree in the same manner today. Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants, fights inflammatory diseases, and is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.

Plants of the Earth

Ohkehteau (Plants of the Earth): A Shinnecock Oral History highlights native plants around Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the ways that Indigenous peoples use and know them. On your self-guided tour, hear Chenae Bullock tell stories passed down to her and describe traditional uses for plants, including medicines that have been used for thousands of years

Hear all the stories.

“It’s hard to protect what you cannot recognize. This tour was made with good intent to share the value of the plants and in turn, protect our Earth.” —Chenae Bullock

  • A brown-skinned woman with indigenous face paint, beaded headband and feather earrings looks skyward

    Chenae Bullock is an enrolled Shinnecock Indian Nation tribal member and a descendant of the Montauk Tribe in Long Island, New York. Chenae is a community leader, water protector, cultural preservationist, Indigenous perspective historian, and humanitarian and has worked at many accredited Indigenous museums. She is the author of 50 Plant Medicines: Indigenous Oral History and Perspective, on which this exhibit is based.

Image, top of page: Elizabeth Peters