Series explores indigenous herbalism, healing


Healers and herbalists from a dozen tribes will be conducting a series of workshops at the Shakti Spirit Sanctuary in Arroyo Seco over the next three months. 

Each workshop is on a Sunday and lasts for about four hours from 1-5 p.m. The workshops are scheduled on May 21; June 4, 11, 25; and July 2, 9, 16.

Among the workshop presenters are:

• Flordemayo is part of the Wisdom of the Grandmother’s Foundation, and she’s also a member of the Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. She is the director of the Institute of Natural and Traditional Knowledge and a recipient of the Martin de la Cruz Award for Alternative Healing, a prestigious honor given by the International Congress of Traditional Medicine. She is a “curandera espíritu” (healer by divine spirit) and works with the sacred breath, laying on of hands and application of herbs.

• Henrietta Gomez is from Taos Pueblo. She uses wild plants for medicinal purposes and food. She is a grandmother who honors the traditions and practices of her people. Gomez will cover a medicinal plant walk in the mountains.

• Howard Badhand is a Lakota sundance chief, intuitive healer, medicine man, fourth-generation singer and author of the book “Native American Healing: A Lakota Tradition.”

• Tiffany Freeman, a Cree First Nation descendant, will discuss traditional medicine and therapies. She incorporates traditional medicine woman methods with the practices of traditional Chinese and Western herbal medicine to create a holistic healing experience. She is an American Herbalist Guild clinical herbalist, co-founder of Lodgepole School of Wholistic Studies in Canada, acupuncturist, mother of two and an avid admirer of nature.

• Emigdio Ballon is Quechua, from Bolivia, a descendant of the Inca people. He employs traditional Quechua techniques and rituals when he works with food and herbs as medicine. He is the director of the Institute of Natural and Traditional Knowledge, the agricultural director of Tesuque Pueblo and board president of Four Bridges Traveling Permaculture Institute.

• Margaret Garcia is a local hierbera and food scientist. She was raised in the mountains of Northern New Mexico, where her family has lived for 12 generations. Her family taught her to identify local herbs and how to use herbs, food and medicines. She is passionate about the maintenance of traditional land-based knowledge. She and her husband, Miguel Santistevan, live in Taos with their two daughters. They maintain a conservation farm, called Sol Feliz.

The cost for all of the classes is $350 and preregistration is required. Local tribal members can attend by donation. Visit or call (914) 400-7558 to register.