I make these essences in the greater Tucson area, which is Tohono O’odham land. I made the mother essences on several different parcels of privately owned land, most of that land being very close to the main Tohono O’odham reservation. I was not studying with O’odham people during that time, due to the place I was at in my own process of healing and earning enough money to give back to people for their time.
During the time I lived further to the west on Hia-Ced O’odham land in Ajo, I was very fortunate to attend an indigenous foodways gathering in December of 2017. Rowen White, director of the Sierra Seed Cooperative and national project coordinator at the Indigenous Seedkeepers Network, spoke of rematriating seeds back to their indigenous communities. While we don’t have a recording from that event, here is her talk on rematriation from another even
I then set the intention that if these essences would sell enough to become an economically viable industry for an O’odham industry or group, I would offer to transition these essences to them. While the essences sold in the gift shop of the Curley School while I lived in Ajo, these artisanal essences continue to be labors of love; it is only possible for me to offer them because I support myself from my work with clients. Only a few of the essences have references given to resources from O’odham culture; more may be added later.
Some additional local organizations led by indigenous O'odham people include:
The The Ajo Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) supports not only garden projects, but also youth projects gathering traditional local plants including saguaro fruit.
The San Xavier Cooperative sells traditionally farmed crops, and plants that are harvested, such as cholla buds, a local delicacy.