Steve Paulson (00:01):
Every so often, there's a radio show or a whole series of interviews that actually changes how I see the world, and that's happened with this series we've been working on for the last couple of years on Kinship With The More Than Human World. I'm Steve Paulson, and I want to welcome you to a new episode in our Kinship series. This is going to be different from what you normally hear on To The Best Of Our Knowledge. It's a single, long interview, kind of wide-ranging conversation that we just don't have time for on the radio show. Before I introduce our guest, I want to say a little about why this idea of kinship has connected so profoundly with me.
Steve Paulson (00:40):
It's asking a really big question, "What if we see all the animals and plants around us, the birds and dogs, the trees and flowers, not just as things to be admired or used, but as subjects in their own right, and what if we extend this perspective to other parts of the natural world that we don't usually think of as alive, like rocks and rivers?" It means trying to imagine the personhood of a plant or what it might be like to think like a mountain. There's something Robin Wall Kimmerer said in one of our earlier episodes that's really stayed with me. She's an Ecologist and the author of Braiding Sweetgrass, and when Anne and I were sitting under a big tree in her yard in Upstate New York, she said this, "Human people are only one kind of person. There are maple people, there are oriole people, there are cloud people, and that changes everything."
Steve Paulson (01:39):
What changes when we don't think of human beings as the center of everything or the most special, or the smartest? If you take this seriously, there are huge ethical implications. The natural world isn't just full of resources to be extracted or exploited. It means we need to be far more intentional about how we cut down trees and dig up minerals and kill animals. Now, I have to say this way of thinking doesn't come easily to me.
Steve Paulson (02:05):
I found that it requires a leap of imagination and it taps into age-old systems of knowledge that aren't part of my own cultural tradition, which is why I find it so exciting to talk with people who really inhabit this worldview, and that leads me to our guest today.
Enrique Salmon (02:21):
I'm Enrique Salmon, and I'm Rarámuri, and I'm a Professor of American Indian Studies at California State University East Bay.
Steve Paulson (02:32):
Enrique talks about the indigenous knowledge that comes out of his own Rarámuri culture. It's rooted in the land, in the language, and stories that are passed down by the elders. He teaches a class on what he calls American Indian Science, and one of the ideas is that you cannot remove personal experience from explanations of how the world works, which cuts directly against the foundations of modern Western science, so a lot to talk about, here is Enrique Salmon. Enrique, you have written about the idea of what's been called kincentricity. What does that word mean to you?
Enrique Salmon (03:10):
Kincentricity is just living with the idea or the concept, the worldview that everything around us is a relative and that we share breath with everything around us, and it's really focused on how the natural world, the plants, the animals, the rocks, the wind, the rain, the clouds, everything is a direct relative. When I say the word breath, in Rarámuri, breath kind of translates into what other people might think of as soul or spirit, or people who study martial arts, Qi or Chi energy, or if you're into Star War, the force. This is breath.
Steve Paulson (04:06):
I mean, this idea of everything around you is a relative. I mean, this is so different than the normal way that we define who's a relative, family or even human beings. You are extending this idea of relatedness much further into the non-human world.
Enrique Salmon (04:24):
Yes. Well, that's because I was raised in an indigenous culture, and like a lot of other indigenous cultures, where we owe our emergence into this world to elements from nature. Some cultures feel that certain animals help them get into this world. Some include plants. The Hopi owe a lot of their emergence into this fourth world to Spider Woman and to a certain water plant that they climbed up along to get into this world from a hole in the ground, and for my people, we all are emergence into this world to corn.
Enrique Salmon (05:12):
We emerged from ears of corn, and so with that world view, with that idea, it's hard not to think of everything around you as a direct relative, and it goes into our language as well, because in our language, the words that we use for a lot of plants and animals are the same words we use for our direct human relatives.
Steve Paulson (05:40):
Really? What would be an example of that?
Enrique Salmon (05:43):
There's a tree that grows at the bottom of the Barrancas del Cobre. It's a canyon down in Chihuahua, Mexico that's deeper than a Grand Canyon, and it can be snowing up on the rim and you get down to the bottom of the canyon and picking fresh oranges. There's a tree down there that you would know as a Brazilwood, and we call it [foreign language 00:06:06]. That word is the same word we use for our female aunts, our aunt, as you might say in English.
Steve Paulson (06:15):
Hmm. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right.
Enrique Salmon (06:16):
Steve Paulson (06:19):
In other words, certain trees, certain plants are gendered? They might be identified as, say either male or female?
Enrique Salmon (06:28):
All the plants have gender, and they also are identified by ethnicity so ...
Steve Paulson (06:34):
How so with ethnicity?
Enrique Salmon (06:37):
One example is there's a cactus that's related to peyote. We use peyote in ceremonies in our culture. There's a kind of peyote that certain powerful and knowledgeable shaman use. It's a little more touchy than regular peyote, and it's a male plant, but it's also an Apache. When you think about it, for the longest time, for hundreds of years, we were in constant sort of conflict with Apaches coming to down from Arizona, New Mexico and raiding, and so it kind of makes sense that a plant that is dangerous and you have to really be careful around might be an Apache.
Steve Paulson (07:30):
Enrique Salmon (07:31):
Then, corn, we call [foreign language 00:07:33], is a female, and so it's also a female Rarámuri. There is another plant that was introduced back in the middle of 1600's that came from Europe through the missionization by the Spaniards, and it's a male, what we call [foreign language 00:07:52], which is a white person.
Steve Paulson (07:55):
Hmm. How did you learn all of this? Who taught you these words and this history in your culture?
Enrique Salmon (08:03):
Well, I grew up in our language, and so when one is immersed in one's language, you also are immersed in your culture's view of reality, your world view, because the language is our culture, and for everyone, you could say that about every culture around the world, the language is the culture, because the way we think is directly related to how we form our thoughts in our languages, and so it was my family, a lot from my grandparents on my mother's side, and then being around people from my culture as well down in Chihuahua.
Steve Paulson (08:42):
Did you grow up more in Chihuahua in Mexico or more in the U.S.?
Enrique Salmon (08:47):
More in the United States. We came here when I was really young. We went back and forth a few times, but we always were around for a ceremony, and then we spent a lot of time with my mother and my grandmother, learning a lot about plants and so on, being outside and with my grandfather sitting under his fruit trees and listening to stories and helping him in our cornfield and that sort of thing.
Steve Paulson (09:13):
Would your grandmother or grandfather, would they kind of take you around and identify plants with you, tell stories about them?
Enrique Salmon (09:20):
No, it was never that structured. It's not like on Wednesday my grandfather said, "Today, we're going to learn about this."
Steve Paulson (09:28):
Enrique Salmon (09:30):
It was always just, I guess you'd call it an experiential education, just being around it. There's something I wrote about. I can't remember where I wrote about it once. It's something I called Fig Tree Moments, because I remember my grandfather had this huge fig tree on the edge of his cornfield, and it would get hot out, and we'd sit under the fig tree and in the shade, and he would just whittle on a piece of wood and just tell me stuff sometimes, or there were other times when I would be with my grandmother, she had this shack that my grandfather built, but it was built out of slats. The walls were slats, so you can actually see through it.
Enrique Salmon (10:13):
It provided more shade than anything, and we would sit in there, she'd be grinding her herbs or drying the plants or whatever. Those moments, she would tell me stuff about the plants, and she'd also talk about the plants and the animals and the insects when we're collecting plants as well.
Steve Paulson (10:32):
It sounds like this whole, the culture that you're describing is all also so connected to the landscape of the Rarámuri. It's sort of the two go together?
Enrique Salmon (10:43):
They're interconnected, yes. One of my favorite examples of that is when I'm teaching my American Indian Studies classes, I'll often tell my students that indigenous knowledge is local. It doesn't really transfer across ecosystems very well, and as a result, it's really, really hard to be a traditional Apache in Vermont, because everything is just so different, and our language, they emerge from our landscapes, and so as a result, our cultures are emerging from specific landscapes. Our languages give voice to the land. We story the land, and so a traditional Apache out of the Chiricahua Mountains in Arizona just wouldn't know what to talk about in the Green Mountains of Vermont.
Steve Paulson (11:38):
Enrique Salmon (11:39):
This doesn't work.
Steve Paulson (11:42):
What's the landscape like in this part of Chihuahua, Mexico?
Enrique Salmon (11:46):
Well, it's like I said earlier, our people live in and around this canyon that's three times bigger than a Grand Canyon, and it's 1,000 feet deeper.
Steve Paulson (11:58):
Enrique Salmon (11:58):
The rim of the canyon is between, oh, six to 8,000 feet, and then the mountains there, because it's, goes along the Sierra Madre is the spine of Mexico, and it gets up to 10,000 feet in elevation. Like I said before, it could be snowing up on the rim in January, but down at the bottom of the canyon, it's tropical. It's quite a magical landscape.
Steve Paulson (12:25):
Yeah. I came across something that you said when you were sort of writing about landscape, that it's not just a matter of what you think about the landscape. There's another question. What does the landscape think of you?
Enrique Salmon (12:40):
Steve Paulson (12:40):
Which is sort of this fascinating idea. How do you know what the landscape thinks of you?
Enrique Salmon (12:45):
Well, for people from my culture and for other indigenous people, it's not really that hard, especially if they're still living some sense of a traditional or ancestral lifestyle, and so collecting plants, farming, subsistence, fishing, all these things that native peoples still practice automatically put one in that sort of situation where you're constantly in contact with and listening to what the land is telling you, and so that's not hard. In my case, like I was saying earlier, when I go fly fishing, that's a part of it, or whenever I'm out hiking in the mountains or along the beach and constantly in contact, and listening to what the land is saying, or even in my backyard where I'm gardening.
Steve Paulson (13:36):
Can you tell me about fly fishing? I mean, where does that experience take you or how does that connect you to where you are when you're doing that?
Enrique Salmon (13:45):
It connects me directly to the whole watershed of whatever river I'm in, because you're actually, you're literally standing in the river, and then trying to think like a trout, in my case, up in this Sierra Nevadas here, and so thinking about the insects and how the water temperature is affecting them, the current, when even the clouds, whether or not it's shady, what time of day it is. All of these elements play a role in being directly connected to that watershed, that river, even that bend of the river. It's a form of concentrated mindfulness to kind of borrow from some Buddhist teachings, of being fully aware of what's going on around you. It's like, we were saying, it's hard for modern people to do this, but it's not impossible. One of my favorite examples that I do this with, with my students, I teach a class called American Indian Science, which is a lot of what we're talking about here with kincentricity.
Enrique Salmon (14:51):
One of the semester-long assignments that I have my students do is to watch sunrises or sunsets, and what they have to do is once a week for the whole semester at the same time of day in the exact same spot, facing the same direction, they have to either watch a sunrise or a sunset, and then they take notes of what they experience for like 20 minutes. The first three weeks or somewhere in there, the students read their journals, they're kind of wondering, "Why are we doing this?," but then, all of a sudden, you start to read in their journals how they notice patterns. They notice first that the sun actually moves throughout the year, that it's either further north or further south, depending on what semester we're doing this in, but then you start paying attention.
Steve Paulson (15:49):
Enrique Salmon (15:50):
"There's a deer that comes every morning," or, "There's certain insects hanging around in these plants," and then all of a sudden, by the end of the semester, they've practiced this form of concentrated mindfulness. They're listening to what the land is telling them.
Steve Paulson (16:05):
Hmm. I'm so interested that you call your class American Indian Science. It's kind of different from most science classes you'd have in a college.
Enrique Salmon (16:16):
Well, science is just a way of what we call Western science. It's just a way of explaining how the natural world operates, and developing theses and theories and that sort of thing, hypotheses, and this all is resulting from observation and experimentation. Well, American Indians have been doing this with, in the case of North America, for thousands of years. Native peoples have been observing the natural world, and as a result, developing their interactions with the natural world from those observations. It's just another philosophy of science, and science is really a philosophy.
Enrique Salmon (17:05):
In fact, if you look at the age of Newton and so on, they didn't refer to themselves as scientists, they call themselves natural philosophers.
Steve Paulson (17:14):
Right. One of the conventions of most of modern science, Western science, is that you don't insert yourself into the story of what you're describing. I mean, there's sort of the sense of you're standing outside. You're trying to get an objective sense of what the nature of reality is, and it sounds like what you're saying is that personal experience is part of what American Indian Science is about. You can't remove the personal experience from that account of what is real.
Enrique Salmon (17:45):
Yeah. It doesn't make sense for a traditional native person to remove themselves from that experience because we are that experience, and that experience is us. One of my favorite examples of this was at the First Mesa on Hopi at the Hopi Reservation. We were watching a woman's basket dance, and there was these cells of rain coming across the landscape over by the San Francisco Peaks by Flagstaff, and an elder I was hanging out with saw me looking at it, and he goes, "Yeah, look at that rain. That rain is us. We are that rain."
Steve Paulson (18:26):
Enrique Salmon (18:27):
"That land over there, that butte, that's us. We are that butte," and he did that several times, was pointing out different elements of what was around us, and this is not unusual among indigenous people, that we are directly related to these things, and so this subjective approach to explaining the natural phenomena doesn't make sense to indigenous people because those things are us as well.
Steve Paulson (18:56):
Yeah. Well, you're also raising some profound questions about what personal identity is, if the rain is us, if we are the rain. That's rather different than sort of this basic idea in Western culture, that the human being is an individual self. I mean, it sounds like you're saying that no, personal identity is something different. It's part of a larger collective.
Enrique Salmon (19:18):
Yeah. It's part of this huge community that goes beyond our tribe, our family, our culture, where the community includes the natural world as well. For indigenous peoples, our identities are directly connected and emerge from that community. It's an element of a culture that is a responsibility-based culture, which is why you hear a lot of people borrow the concept of the Plains of thinking seven generations down the road because we have a responsibility for the seven generations down the road, but also, we have responsibility for what is happening around us right now. This is so alien to a lot of American culture because American culture is a rights-based culture, where we have a right to do what we want to do as long as we're not breaking laws or hurting somebody else, but it lacks in responsibility of the people and the nature around us.
Steve Paulson (20:35):
Going back to the sort of the question of, "What is science?," "How much can science reveal about reality?," we're really talking about how we gain knowledge. Clearly, you're saying that the modern scientific lens is only one way to gain knowledge, and I'm wondering in the Rarámuri culture, I mean, if there are other ways of passing on knowledge that are really important, that are really powerful in terms of ways to transmit the culture.
Enrique Salmon (21:00):
Now, we're venturing into one of my favorite topics, and that's the power of story, because for indigenous peoples, knowledge is transferred and reproduced through stories. I'm not talking about the kind of story, once upon a time, and then they all lived happily ever after. There's those kinds of stories, but it's expanding a notion of story, where a story is like coyote stories. When an elder tells a young one or a group of young ones how pine trees got here, or how we emerged into this world, but story is also ceremony, a ritual. There's a whole story in a San Juan deer dancer in New Mexico, holding a pine bow in their left hand.
Enrique Salmon (21:57):
There's the story that's encoded, embedded in the songs that bird singers sing down in Southern California from the Cahuilla culture. All of this is this larger category of story that is how what we know is reproduced and transferred within our cultures, and sometimes cross cultures.
Steve Paulson (22:28):
My guest is Enrique Salmon, an anthropologist and Professor of American Indian studies, and the author of the book, Eating the Landscape. This conversation is part of our series on Kinship With The More Than Human World. It sounds like a lot of these cultural traditions you've been describing mean these native traditions, you can see parts of that in modern science in ecological thinking. I'm thinking of something like the Gaia theory that talks about the earth as a living being, and I'm wondering if that science concept, does that resonate with you or does that seem kind of more bookish and a little alien from your understanding of the earth as a living being?
Enrique Salmon (23:11):
It makes sense when I read things like the Gaia theory or when I come across ecologists who borrow from indigenous worldviews, trying to connect it to their explanations for the natural world and processes, but I have a lot of problems when this happens, because most of the time they're taking indigenous knowledge out of context, and context is key to indigenous explanations of the natural world in what we might call American Indian Science or even traditional ecological knowledge, because remember earlier, I talked about how all indigenous knowledge is local, and so if the context is, say if you got some ecologists working in some watershed in the Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains, but they're borrowing from Karuk culture in Northern California, it's a misappropriation of the knowledge, and it's not going to apply cleanly enough, if that makes sense.
Steve Paulson (24:23):
What would you suggest then for, say a scientist who goes through university training? Who does not come from that kind of cultural background, what can they do to honor and to really understand that context?
Enrique Salmon (24:37):
Well, you know, fortunately, there's still a lot of indigenous people around who know this kind of knowledge from different elements of nature. We're seeing more of this, but there's not enough of it where Western scientists would help themselves if they included in their research teams indigenous peoples, and actually asking local native peoples to be a part of a research project and to include their interpretations of what is being studied.
Steve Paulson (25:12):
Earlier, we talked about the idea of kincentricity, and I guess the sort of the parallel idea would be kincentric ecology. You're talking about a different kind of ecology than most ecology that's taught at the university level.
Enrique Salmon (25:27):
Yeah. Yeah, kincentricity is more of what we were talking about before, worldview. It's a way of thinking, but kincentric ecology is, I would think of as more as the art of living, as part of a place, the land is a relative, and like you said earlier, where the land remembers everything about us, the people in this sort of mutual experience that we have with each other, because this art of living, this part of a place is going to have a direct impact on the choices we make, the practices we have on a specific landscape, and so the land kind of becomes this center of moral behavior. The land reminds us of how to properly behave with it.
Steve Paulson (26:17):
Give me an example of that. How does that translate into moral behavior?
Enrique Salmon (26:22):
Well, I remember picking berries. I can't remember which bush it was with my grandmother, and she was telling me, "We should always, when we pick berries, get the berries from the central part of the bush, from the mid part of the bush, because we want to leave the berries in the lower part of the bushes for our little brothers and sisters, or small little brothers and sisters, and then we want to leave the berries in the upper part of the bush for our larger brothers and sisters," and so this is some moral way of gathering, for example.
Steve Paulson (27:01):
Yeah, you've talked about human beings as a keystone species, which is a phrase that's usually used to describe certain animal species like wolves or beavers, and of course, these days, a lot of people think of humans as a blight on the natural world, not an integral part of a healthy ecology. How are we, humans a keystone species?
Enrique Salmon (27:25):
We're a keystone species because we do things, whether good or bad that have direct impact on plants and animals, watersheds, oceanscapes and so on. We play a role in how the system operates. One of my favorite examples, where this role is a positive one, but has been taken away was years and years ago, sitting in a meeting with the park service and some Southern Paiute folks, and there was this one elder woman who was listening to these park service guys talking about the mesquite groves, and we got to let the mesquite groves just grow naturally. We're going to sort of cordon them off and not let anyone go on there, and then all of a sudden, this little five-foot nothing woman stands up and kind of starts yelling at the park service guys and says, "You've let these mesquite groves become a mess. They're just a mess, and they're just overgrown."
Enrique Salmon (28:27):
"Nothing's happening there." She said, "If you let us manage them like we've always managed them, then the plants and the animals will come back," and they were kind of dumbfounded because they thought they were doing a good thing, but what she was expressing was that because the Southern Paiute are such a part of that landscape, a keystone species, that when throughout the year, they're permitted to sustainably prune the mesquites to collect the pods for food and so on and to periodic burn the groves, what happens is that it clears out the competing bushes and herbaceous plants, and then it invites useful herbaceous plants to grow underneath the mesquite trees, and because they're not overgrown, animals, smaller animals and larger animals can come and interact with the mesquite groves as well, so it's not just good for the people, it's good for all of that ecosystem, and as a result, the mesquite trees produce more edible pods.
Steve Paulson (29:39):
Hmm. I mean, that's sort of a fascinating take on a lot of modern ecological thinking, and the whole notion of wilderness, which is usually thought of as, "Oh, this is the land that is untouched by humans." Maybe we need to redefine that idea.
Enrique Salmon (29:55):
We need to start touching the natural world again. I was given a talk once at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado for Earth Day, and somewhere in my talk, I said something about wilderness. Afterwards, someone asked me, "Do you believe in wilderness?," and I said, "No." There was this audible gasp in the room there because I was explaining how, "Well, when we set aside landscapes where all humans can do is leave behind footprints, that means we're not directly connecting with these landscapes, and the lands itself are getting lonely. The plants are lonely, the rocks are lonely."
Enrique Salmon (30:41):
For human interaction, they want us to interact in a sustainable way, and as human beings, we gain so much when we can sustainably interact with landscapes.
Steve Paulson (30:54):
Should we just do away with the whole concept of wilderness or setting aside tracts of land that are basically untouched by humans?
Enrique Salmon (31:03):
That's a tough question because we're so overpopulated right now and people have never been taught proper behavior with the natural world. I think at this point, we have to have landscapes that are set aside, that are protected, in other words. It's unfortunate, but until we, as human beings learn to be mindful of our interactions with the natural world, then, I think we have to do that.
Steve Paulson (31:29):
Now, one thing that you said earlier that I found fascinating, I just want to explore that a little bit more, is you're talking about the breath that we share with everyone around us. I know that there's a Rarámuri concept known as [foreign language 00:31:45], if I'm saying that right. Can you explain what that is?
Enrique Salmon (31:47):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). [ foreign language 00:31:50], it's this idea that everything moves in these overlapping cycles, and our breath, our soul, our spirit is constantly moving in these overlapping cycles. [ foreign language 00:32:06] is a longer version of the concept [foreign language 00:32:11], which is a particular cycle of life and death, and it's also the same word we use to describe a certain species of butterflies that are constantly going through this cycle of life and death when it create cocoons and it emerge from the cocoons and so on, but then, it's also directly connected to our own human cycles of life, and when we pass, we believe that our breath, our soul or spirit, whatever you want to call it, enters into certain species of butterflies and that we visit favorite places and people and experiences that happen in our lifetimes, and afterwards, we move up into the Milky Way. If you ever want to count how many Rarámuri there ever been, just try to see if you can start counting the stars in the Milky Way on a clear night.
Steve Paulson (33:15):
When you talk about breath, I mean, this is a very kind of conceptual idea, I mean, really complicated. I mean, there's a whole philosophy in metaphysics here, but are you also talking about just kind of a physical level of breathing air in and exhaling, breathing air out?
Enrique Salmon (33:31):
Yeah, that's a part of it. Our breath is the same breath that bears breathe in and out when they're catching salmon up in Alaska, the same breath that Brazilwood trees breathe in and out as part of their process down the bottom of the Barranca del Cobre. It just never ends.
Steve Paulson (33:53):
When you were talking about this, I can't help but think about how resonant this is with the headlines in today's news, given all the horrible cases of African-American men who've died in police custody, who literally, people who were saying, "I can't breathe."
Enrique Salmon (34:09):
Right. Yeah. Well, breathing is central to existence, and these police officers are breaking the cycle.
Steve Paulson (34:20):
Yeah. For those of us who are not Rarámuri, the vast majority of people who are listening to us right now, how can we relate to other plants and animals and the landscape as kin? If we're not born into that worldview, how can we cultivate that kind of kinship practice?
Enrique Salmon (34:39):
One of my favorite thing is just ask people to grow a plant, to begin there. Just grow a plant from a seed and watch it. Treat it like you would a pet, like a pet dog or a pet cat. Give it a name, and then practice feeding it. What happens is that if you're really serious, then the individual engages in studying what that plant needs and what its cycles of existence are.
Enrique Salmon (35:15):
What are your interactions with that plant, and how does it affect the plant? How does a plant affect you? It could be a tomato plant or, who knows what a cactus you'd put into the window sill of your house, or something like that, and just interact with it. Then, over time, you don't even really realize it, you develop a relationship with that. The next step is just making that mental, I guess, jump that this is a relative.
Enrique Salmon (35:45):
I am like Carl Sagan used to say, I am in this plant with me, this stardust. We are the elements of the whole universe, and the whole universe is us. We're not separated from that at all. Unfortunately, in modern cultures, Western cultures, we've become separated from those cycles.
Steve Paulson (36:11):
Have you ever had any particular relationships, sort of powerful relationships with individual plants?
Enrique Salmon (36:19):
Probably one of the most powerful would be with chilies, and not just any chili, what you would call Anaheim chilies, those big, long, green chilies that are just a little bit spicy, because I was raised with those, and I grow them in my backyard. Whenever I pick them, I immediately go and put them on the barbecue and roast them because I need to get that scent of roasted chilies because all sort of familial and cultural and individual memories emerge from just smelling roasting chilies that take me back to hanging out with my grandmother and cooking green chili stew with her and just roasting chilies and peeling off the skin and eating them straight. I can just go on and on about all these deep connections with just the smell of roasting green chilies.
Steve Paulson (37:15):
Yeah. The other side of thinking of plants as kin is it's also the food that we eat and the connections that we have through food, and that sounds like that's pretty important to you.
Enrique Salmon (37:26):
If language is culture, then food is a close cousin. We are so connected to foods. Just think about yourself and one of your favorite foods. What kind of memories does it bring up, going way back to your childhood? That's the power of food. Just one thing can do that.
Steve Paulson (37:48):
Yeah. Well, this has been such a pleasure talking with you. Thank you so much.
Enrique Salmon (37:55):
Oh, my pleasure.
Steve Paulson (38:00):
That's Enrique Salmon, a Professor of American Indian Studies at California State University East Bay and the author of Eating the Landscape. This interview is part of our podcast series on Kinship With the More Than Human World, which is produced by To The Best Of Our Knowledge in partnership with the Center for Humans and Nature, and with support from the Kalliopeia Foundation. Our sound designer is Sarah Hopefl, and I'm Steve Paulson. If you want to find more in our Kinship series, go to ttbook.org/kinship, where you will see all our podcast episodes and a whole bunch of great essays. Thanks for joining us.
Speaker 3 (38:44):