Ojiibik Mashkiki Project

Root Medicine Project

What is the Root Medicine Project?

The first goal of this project is to replace commercial tobacco that is used in Native American ceremonies with natural tobacco in hopes to reduce harmful chemicals that leech into the environment.


As everyone knows, cigarettes are filled with many harmful chemicals from asbestos to jet fuel. More information can be found at www.lung.org. All of these chemicals are very harmful to the environment and leach into the ground and surrounding watersheds when disposed of improperly. Some Native American tribes routinely set out tobacco for different spiritual reasons. The most common product used is pipe tobacco and cigarettes. Pipe tobacco has less additives but still includes formaldehyde and other oils for flavoring. By growing tobacco plants and using the all natural leaves and plant parts, we will be reducing the amount of toxins leaching back into the earth. Less sales of these tobacco products will also reduce the actual manufacturing of these chemicals that are added to the tobacco products currently being sold. It is our job to take care of the earth.

How will this be accomplished?

With funding from the Tiwahe Foundation, a cold frame greenhouse will be built to grow tobacco plants. I have debated building a year round greenhouse but after much contemplation I have found that a much larger cold frame greenhouse would yield more crops than a small year round green house. The cost of a year round green house is very high while a cold frame greenhouse for the same amount would be much larger and extend the growing season farther than a traditional garden. An experimental small green house will be built to compliment the cold frame greenhouse.

What are the future goals?

After the successful completion of tobacco growth and distribution, plans will be developed to expand the greenhouse. This will allow for other traditional medicinal plants to be grown. Other goals will be to possibly market the tobacco and other medicinal plants to great funds to help with elder and youth activities within the community. Also, an adopt a plant program is in the works to allow for the community to bring home different plants of their choice, such as sage, tobacco, or other plants. These are just ideas and goals to work to.

How can I become involved?

Ideas , comments, and questions are always welcomed and can be sent to rootmedicineproject@gmail.com

Also, donations are always welcomed and may be directed to the email above.