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Wilbert Fish

Traditional Blackfeet Herbalist

Wilbert Fish is a spiritual leader, healer, and herbalist. He is internationally known for his work with traditional Blackfeet herbal medicine. Wilbert was raised in the strict traditional upbringing of his Blackfeet family. He was carefully taught the secrets of native plants commonly found around Glacier National Park, which is home to the Blackfeet. He is one of the few keepers of the sacred plant knowledge.

Wilbert believes that each plant has its own special medicinal property. He uses mullein for bronchitis and burdock leaves for skin problems. Wilbert understands the healing properties of more than 1,000 plants. At the Blackfeet Health Center he works with four medical doctors, providing traditional Blackfeet medicine for patients who prefer this form of healing.

Wilbert Fish conducts his own research for healing properties on many plants. He believes plants have a way to communicate with us as human beings. He often learns new applications for plants, which are revealed to him in a dream or a vision. Through this traditional way of learning, the plant begins to instruct the healer in its own application, revealing its healing properties to the healer.

Plants and the Blackfeet Nation have had a special relationship. This connection goes back to the beginning of time, when the Blackfeet made peace with the bear. In Blackfeet belief, the bear knows the difference between plants which are healing and those which are not safe to eat. This knowledge is easily gained by the bear, who eats almost everything. The bear was the original teacher, showing the Blackfeet the differences in plant medicines.

Wilbert has worked at the Blackfeet Community College for fifteen years as a part-time instructor, and for three years as extension agent. Wilbert is also a alcohol and drug couselor. He works as the director of the Domestic Abuse Program, and has developed a new approach to counseling techniques. Wilbert calls this new approach "The Holistic Approach to Healing."

With 527 people completing his program, he has an 85% success rate of healing his clients, who present with serious problems such as domestic violence, alcoholism, drug addiction and other social ills. He also developed his own approach to stress management. All of his methods were developed from the Native American view point, which integrates Native American Cultural values, traditions, and philosophies.

In addition to his traditional research, Wilbert Fish helped build the first high-tech, geodesic dome greenhouse in Montana. This greenhouse currently is home to many rare, native plants that are in danger of extinction. Every day the Earth loses plant species that might be vital sources of medicine which could have produced a cure for AIDS or cancer. He hopes to begin a coordinated international effort to save endangered plants.

Wilbert Fish has also been working with NASA on a proposed project to research the possibility of growing plants with a high growth rate in small containers. The project is to create accessible nutritious food for future colonists on the planet Mars. It is paradoxical to imagine transplanted colonists from an overcrowded Earth having Native Americans to thank for the food they survive on, in a space-age world.

"The Holistic Approach to Healing" workshop is divided into three stages with the following hours:
  • 30 hours first stage focuses on oppression of Native People
  • 50 hours second stage focuses on Holistic Healing
  • 30 hours third stage focuses on Family Violence
  • Stress Management Workshop:

  • 16 hours of fun, laughter and relaxation
  • Blackfeet Herbalogy Workshop:

  • 30 hours of Introduction to Herbalogy
  • 20 hours of Herbal Prepration
  • 50 Hours Early Indian Medicine Health Pratices
  • Wilbert Fish is Available for:

    • Lectures
    • Medical Conferences
    • Multi-Cultural Health Conferences
    • Stress Management Workshops
    • Student-Teacher Workshops
    • Herbal Consultation

    Links: Blackfeet Nation Homepage
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    Jack Gladstone - Blackfeet Singer/Songwriter

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