The power of the red cedar tree was said to be so strong a person could receive strength by standing with his or her back to the tree. Red cedar was used for a variety of ailments. It is called the ‘tree of life’ by the Kakawaka’wakw and is still held with highest respect by all northwest coast peoples for its healing and spiritual powers. A Coast Salish myth says the Great Spirit created red cedar in honour of a man who was always helping others: ‘When he dies and where he is buried, a cedar tree will grow and be useful to the people — the roots for baskets, the bark for clothing, the wood for shelter’ ” (Pojar and Mackinnon 1994).
Original source; Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon (eds.). 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest coast. Vancouver, BC: Lone Pine.
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