Wild Foods & Medicines Program Director
Elise Krohn, M.Ed. is an educator, author, herbalist, and native foods specialist in the Pacific Northwest. She is committed to cultivating healing relationships between people, plants, places and cultural traditions. During her 20+ years of experience teaching in tribal communities, she has worked with elders and cultural specialists to create community gardens, food sovereignty resources, a program on healing addiction, and curricula on chronic disease prevention. Through leading ‘train the trainers’ workshops, Elise has multiplied the number of educators who are teaching about native foods and herbal medicines in tribal communities. She also has over 10 years of experience as a clinical herbalist, and has authored three books and numerous articles on this and related topics. She is the project coordinator on the Tend, Gather and Grow Teaching Toolkit and the Plant Teachings for Growing Social-Emotional Skills Toolkit. Her blog can be found at www.wildfoodsandmedicines.com.
Wild Foods and Medicines Program Tribal Relations Lead
Mariana is a citizen of Yakama Nation, an íła (mother) and an artist with a passion for protecting Native foods and medicines and sharing their gifts in community. Mariana co-led Native student buffalo harvests in college which sparked her journey into Tribal Food Sovereignty. She worked for 7 years serving Native youth in leadership development initiatives nationally with the Native Youth Leadership Alliance and Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Youth. She is a founding development team member of Tend, Gather and Grow curriculum. She holds a B.A. Degree in American Indian Studies from Fort Lewis College and is an Evergreen Longhouse Advisory Board member. Mariana is a 2021 NDN Collective ChangeMaker Fellow where she focused on expanding the Tend, Gather and Grow curriculum to Plateau Tribes. Mariana received the 2021 Potlatch Fund Spirit of Reciprocity award and the 2018 Inspired Native Award from Eighth Generation. Mariana enjoys gathering foods and medicines with her family, learning Ichishskíin (Yakama) language, designing earrings, and composing and sharing songs in community.
Kelly ‘Yaya’ Odell
Wild Foods and Medicines Program Coordinator
Kelly ‘Yaya’ Odell is an auntie, gardener, beader and educator. They grew up as a guest on Squaxin Island and Nisqually land here in Olympia, WA. Their family descends from the Mohawk Nation, out of Kanatsiohareke (place of the clean pot), and other corn peoples of the South East. They also descend from Irish/Scottish/Swiss immigrants as well. Their mother’s love of gardening, and their own love of corn and the Three Sisters started their gardening journey, which evolved into a love of learning about Native plants of the PNW. They feel ecstatic to return home to this place where they befriended the cedars, ferns and nettles in their backyard as a kid. They are humbled and excited to join the Wild Food and Medicines team. They hope to learn how to be a better community member and land steward from the people, the land and the stories of this place. They love stories and the many forms in which people share stories, cooking and feasting with community, and sharing laughter with those around them. GRuB already feels like home.
Tend, Gather and Grow School Adoption Lead
Kim Gaffi is the Co-Founder and past Executive Director of GRuB (Garden Raised Bounty). In serving the organization for more than 23 years, Kim had the opportunity to grow an idea from its seed into a community-loved and supported organization. Kim earned her BA in Community Development and BS in Environmental Science from The Evergreen State College and loves thinking about and working on the intersection of humans and the natural environment. She brings her passion for experiential education & food justice as well as her skills in group facilitation, organizational development and educational policy.