Orin Greene’s winning entry (cropped, full poster below story) in the FORED BC Society’s annual Traditional Knowledge and Medicine artwork contest. (Contributed photo)

Orin Greene’s winning entry (cropped, full poster below story) in the FORED BC Society’s annual Traditional Knowledge and Medicine artwork contest. (Contributed photo)

Gitxsan youth wins Traditional Knowledge and Medicine artwork contest

Orin Greene created a poster explaining the medicinal uses of soapberries

A Gitxsan youth from the Gitanmaax Band has won a traditional knowledge-themed art contest.

Orin Greene, a Grade 7 student at Hazelton Elementary School created a poster about the medicinal benefits of soapberries as an optional project through his Gitxsan language and culture class.

Greene explained that the berries are whipped into a froth with a bit of sugar or fresh berries and taken daily to help with arthritis, heart health, indigestion and rheumatism. Leaves are used to treat bladder and uterine infections and berries are also chewed to speed childbirth, the poster says.

The annual contest for Indigenous youth aged 5 to 18 is run by FORED BC Society, a non-profit organization that advocates for and provides educational material about sustainable environmental practices.

“Every year, this contest provides us with inspired insights on centuries of Indigenous traditional knowledge and culture we can all learn from,” says Victor Godin, FORED’s educational director.

The award comes with a cash prize sponsored by the B.C. government, Vancouver Foundation and FORED members.

Three other youths also won prizes. They were Madison of the Mohawk Nation, Kelowna; Luke of theOpaskwayak Cree Nation, Kelowna; and Quinn of the Lax Kw’alaams and Gispwudwada, Prince Rupert.