In the Coast Salish Indian language, Spálhxen refers to the coastal prairie ecosystem, which is characterized by the interrelationships between key plant species and the ways in which indigenous people have used and cultivated them since time immemorial. Sam Barr, a member of the Samish Tribe, explains these interrelationships on a remnant prairie on Vendovi Island.

A portion of this conversation with Sam Barr also appears in our video, “What’s So Great About Garry Oaks?” We are grateful to Sam for sharing this important and fascinating insight into the islands’ cultural and natural history.