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Pine Needle Art: Vickie’s Story

Because they don’t have any apparent use, pine needles might be easy to overlook. However, to Vickie Jeffries and her ancestors (Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation), pine needles were a sacred and useful resource.

Today, Vickie creates beautiful baskets from pine needles. Vickie leaves a tobacco offering each time she harvests pine needles, just as she does for every plant.

Listen here:


Can you think of any uses for things in nature you might consider "waste"?


Indigenous Land Relationships in the Carolinas: An Interactive Audio Tour

This tour features short audio recordings of Indigenous people telling their own stories connected to their relationship with the land. It was created by Quinn Smith (Chickasaw Nation, Chocktaw, Duke University's Trinity College Class of 2023) through Duke Gardens' Equity Through Stories Program.

Links to the rest of the tour pages are below; click to go to the previous or next tour pages, or click on any of the individual tour page titles. Tour pages can be visited in any order.






Jump to another point in the tour:


About Quinn Smith, Jr.

photo of Quinn Smith, Jr. in Duke Gardens

Quinn is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, majoring in public policy with a documentary studies certificate. As a documentarian, Quinn strives to challenge our misconceptions of Indigenous people by documenting a long-silenced, shared humanity.

What drew Quinn to the Equity through Stories Program was the ability to uplift Indigenous truths and to forge reciprocal relationships with Indigenous people throughout the Carolinas. Quinn does this by interviewing Indigenous people about their relationships with the land and weaving their stories into audio documentaries to be exhibited at the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. He also initiates seed-sharing and other reciprocal ventures between Indigenous peoples and Blomquist Gardens. Quinn hopes that his work will help to re-educate Duke Garden’s 500,000+ annual visitors and to create a healing space for Indigenous people.

Visit Quinn's website here.