Who We Are

THANKS FOR BEING HERE

Though first dreamed up in the mind of a mossy-haired girl in the late 1990s, Wisewood Apothecary was officially founded in June 2014. Based out of a humble Calgary, Alberta neighbourhood, on land that is historically known as Mohkinstsis, we are tremednously grateful to live and work on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Nations, which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, and the Kainai; as well as the Tsuut’ina and Stoney Nakoda First Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. We hope to honour our impacts here in all the ways we share our knowledge and interact with the people, plants, and animals within the community. 

As settlers practicing Western herbalism we recognize that reconciliation is one of the most important responsibilities we have, on top of ensuring accurate and reliable service to our clients. To begin the process, we came up with a few different ways to approach it:

  • On the occasions we are invited to nearby sovereign indigenous land to share, we do it for free, including sponsoring the gas and mileage needed to get there

  • Collaborate with indigenous youth groups in the city, working to provide an engaging opportunity for youth to meet the local plant life through a survivalist lens

  • Donate 25% of the money raised on our Survival Plant Walks to various indigenous minded organizations (ie. Water First, Raven Trust) as well as other deserving groups

  • Volunteer with groups that serve at-risk individuals, such as the YWCA downtown, providing hands-on and educational workshops to help them view plants as allies

  • Sponsor and organize an annual park and community clean up, in addition to picking up garbage found along plant walk routes

  • Run a recycling program where our bottles can be returned, sterilized and reused again in future products, to reduce the strain on the earth

  • Consistently educate and fight misinformation in an oversaturated market

  • Address cultural appropriation within the local herbal community (ie. "smudging" with sage/sweetgrass when it is not your culture, especially selling for a profit) and do our best to present new perspectives on the topic wherever people are not aware of the harm

As we grow, we are open to your thoughts on how we can do better in this regard, so feel free to share if you can. The tidal wave of voices calling for the decolonization of native medicine, ceremony, and tradition, aspects that are commonly usurped by non-indigenous people, is a call to action that we hear and aim to honour. The very idea that we could profit off of the traditions our colonizing ancestors did their best to erase, while indigenous people to this day are mistreated for it, is plain old wrong. 

 

We believe that all of us, together, can not only minimize the overharvesting of trendy herbs that contributes to land decimation but also conserve the land for future generations to depend on. If you have been feeling drawn to traditional cultures and medicines, there are plenty of authentic artists and medicine people from all over that are ready and willing to teach you themselves. You can check out our resources section for some suggestions, contact us for a referral. or just get out into your community and get the word out that you want to learn. 

Another huge goal of ours around here is to make sure that our programming allows for a safe, entertaining, and accurate discovery of local plants medicine, for all, but especially those that are facing limitations. Not only that we provide the opportunity, but that we work to make sure that conservation, wilderness safety, ecosystem health, and positive identification are at the forefront of everyone's minds when interacting with plants and their habitats. We aspire to see everyone we cross paths with go forward with a tenderness that is required of each of us. 

 

Finally, it is important to note that our role as herbalists is not to get you to become reliant on us as "healers" but to show you how to be self-reliant and become confident in taking control of your own well-being. That never means you shouldn't access medical services are required for you to be at your best, but that you do not only trust the opinion of someone that is not experiencing what you are. To us, the ideal client is someone we see, in a consultation setting, rarely; not due to financial or time restraints, but because they are balanced and active in their health care approach. That is the place we aim to get you to.

 

As Wisewood Apothecary evolves, we will continue to greet you with open arms, but also open hearts and minds. Let's grow together. 

We serve people from all walks of life

If there is something you think that would improve the experience around here for you, please contact us and we will do our best to provide you with what you need. Contact us here 

MEET THE TEAM

Credentials:

+ Practical Herbalist - Wild Rose College of Natural Healing

+ Reflexologist - Wild Rose College of Natural Healing

+ HCP Level First-Aid with CPR & AED - Calgary First Aid

Cheyenne Caza

Owner, Practical Herbalist, Reflexologist

 

Cheyenne grew up fascinated by all things nature. Aspects such as weather, plants, animals, insects, and general exploration lit her soul on fire. Her mom and grandfather largely fed her growing curiosity towards plants, though gardening, wild foraging, camping, and the magic of wild-harvesting your first natural first-aid remedy. As she grew up, the knowledge she earned as a kid served her well in many trying times, including an abusive relationship, poverty, trauma, and parenthood.

 

As she navigated her own health concerns, Cheyenne quickly saw there was a need for practical, accurate, and easily accessible education on the safe use of the plants growing around us - safe for both us and the environment. After years of formal and self-directed study, she now practices Western herbal medicine and leads plants walks all across Alberta, specializing in the conservative use of local weeds, trees, and superfoods.

 

Aside from plants, Cheyenne has grown to love to dance, camp, eat, watch hilarious TV, explore new places, play Dungeons and Dragons, and have fun with her little ones. She is a sucker for good food, hot tea, a full belly laugh, and is always ready for the next adventure.

Credentials:

+ Apprentice & herbal student with Wisewood Apothecary

+ Girl Guide and survival enthusiast for 18 years

+ Child Studies Degree, major in Child & Youth Care Counselling

Emily McFarlane

Herbal Apprentice 2018 - 2019 

 

Emily grew up as an outdoorsy child, camping and exploring through Girl Guides and summer camps, plants and trees hold a lasting fascination, professing herself to be a ‘herbology minor’ she’s studied independently by obsessively collecting books and plant manuals throughout her life. While the assemblage has waxed and waned over the years, the number now sits at a comfortable 15. Growing up on the prairies of Saskatchewan, Emily holds a strong interest in sustainable, local food and farming. Hoping one day to own land for the purposes of teaching others about local wild and cultivated food.  Emily’s passion for the next generation is evident in her work with Youth and Children, finding any excuse to share herb and plant knowledge with others.

 

Emily enjoys singing and dancing, a hot beverage and a good book. Campfire smoke and Spruce trees are her favourite scents. Known to for saying “there's a herb for that”, she is excited to learn and grow alongside Wisewood Apothecary!

Wisewood Apothecary

Bringing the wisdom of the woods home

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Disclaimer: Wisewood Apothecary is not a pharmacy, nor does it offer any pharmacy-related services. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, cure or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of you, the individual. We recommend that you consult your primary healthcare provider before using alternative healing methods or products.