The Lacombe and District Historical Society has launched a new exhibition at the Flatiron Building Museum called Botany and the History of Medicine.
The exhibition has been fully prepared and curated by the Lacombe District Historical Society.
“It comprises of a variety of items from our collections and archives, so that includes some Fine Art and paintings as well as herbarium specimens that we have from the Salt Lake County region and some medicine bottles and prescriptions from local pharmacies in town here. It's a pretty fun exhibit, and it's exploring the relationship between medicine, science, and plants,” said Melissa Blunden, Executive Director of the Lacombe and District Historical Society.
In addition to the physical exhibition at the Flatiron Building Museum, the Historical Society has also prepared another virtual exhibition called Blueberries for Everyone: The Landscape and Plants of our County. In this exhibition, not only can you learn about our local geography and local landscape changes, but view historical photographs, botanical drawings, and videos.
Last year, the Historical Society began the construction of their learning garden located just outside of the Michener House Museum (located on 5036 51st Street, Lacombe) that incorporates local flora as well. Now that garden, has also been filled with local plants. Blunden says in the past few years there is a bit of resurgence of interest in local botany, Indigenous plants, and how we use them.
“I do think that there's a bit of a maybe a resurgent into understanding maybe a little bit more of what that would look like and we're obviously happy to explain as much as we know and to work with our partners and our traditional knowledge keepers that we have contacts with to continue that work both in our exhibits and in our programs that we offer,” said Blunden.
However, there are still a lot of reservations when it comes to a more holistic approach to medicine.
“When you hear the word ‘holistic,’ a lot of people maybe have some negative connotations to it. People don't fully understand what that word means. For us and for this exhibit in particular, we're looking at it as more pieces of a whole, maybe more than the Webster Dictionary definition of the word ‘holistic’. We do talk in our exhibit, both the virtual and in person, about Indigenous medicine and maybe like a bit of a history on how that has worked in the past, how it works today,” said Blunden.
Botany and the History of Medicine will be on at the Flatiron Building Museum until October 21, 2022. Blueberries for Everyone: The Landscape and Plants of our County is available online here.