Wild Food and Medicine Plant Taxonomy Learn Human Ecology Purchase Newsletter Blog Contact
Practicing and sharing a neoaboriginal lifeway—a synthesis of the experience and wisdom accrued over the past seven million years with evidence from contemporary scientific research—to foster awareness, connection, health, and self-reliance.

Welcome to the web site of Arthur Haines and the Delta Institute of Natural History, a source for New England plant taxonomy and nomenclature, wild food and medicine instruction, primitive living skills mentoring, and natural history lessons.  A schedule of classes and speaking engagements is available on the Learn page.  To arrange for an event, use the Contact page.

A major focus of the Delta Institute of Natural History is developing self-reliance that promotes awareness and eco-conscientiousness.  This necessitates drawing on technologies that were first perfected many millennia ago, in some cases, prior to the emergence of Homo sapiens as a species.  These technologies, often referred to as primitive skills or ancestral life ways, are the only technologies that have demonstrated they are sustainable. Further, they nourished and healed the body, produced a healthy and vital next generation, and promoted connection to the landscape (rather than distinction from).  These outcomes were accomplished through an education system that fostered the development of important human characteristics, beginning with the perfection of nature-based skills, and progressing to thoughtful practices, ceremony, and, ultimately, service beyond self.  Connect with the Delta Institute to understand how these skills are effective, timely, and rejuvenative.

Do you want to stay connected?  Join the community to receive occasional newsletters regarding foraging strategies, self reliance, and traditional health practices.

Upcoming Events and News

Click here to read neo-aboriginal blog posts

Wildcrafting Herbal Medicine (1–3 August), an entire weekend of learning to gather and prepare effective medicine from the local landscape in Canton, ME.

Fall Foraging (26–28 September), a weekend of foraging for wild edibles in Canton, ME.  Acorns, wild rice, and other seasonal foods will be prepared and enjoyed as part of the meals.

Quick Links


Ancestral Plants







>Sweet Peas Podcast: Human Domestication (part one), Episode 119

>Sweet Peas Podcast:  Human Domestication (part two), Episode 120

>Exist Anew:  Living Paleo in the Modern World:  A Conversation With Arthur Haines


Why We Need To Indigenize Ourselves


When we arrange for a celebration, we often invite many guests to our home to enjoy a specific holiday, to commemorate an event, or simply to enjoy the company of our friends.  Frequently, a celebration involves more people than a home could ever sustainably house.  There isn’t enough space for sleeping, large amounts of food and fuel are consumed, tremendous (but temporary) strain may be placed on the septic system, and the guests might get loud as the evening progresses.  But, for one night, we tolerate the noise, hassle, and commotion to reaffirm friendships, express gratitude, and enjoy the amenities and food.  The next day, the guests leave, and things slowly return to normal as we clean and reorganize the interior setting.  But, what if the guests never left?  What if we were always in party mode?


Anyone who has hosted events will instantly identify that if the celebration didn’t end there would be serious complications within a few days (for most events).  Ultimately, the strain of so many people in one location would cause stress, headaches, and loss of sleep, and people would become irritable.  This would be especially true because, as everyone knows, some guests don’t treat other people’s homes with complete respect.  Eventually, the food stores would be depleted.  After a long enough time, the septic system would be overrun and would be backing up outside the home or in the house itself.  Everyone understands that “party-mode” is not a sustainable lifestyle, especially for those who lived in the home prior to the party and require some level of pristineness to function there.

But as descendants of European colonists, this is exactly what we have done.  Even though we came to this continent centuries ago, most of still live in an unsustainable manner, one that has been devastating to the people and other-than-human persons that lived here previously.  We have deforested much of the continent, dammed and polluted its rivers, and built sprawling urban centers over what used to be wilderness (where someone lived).  We now go on clearing and building like there’s no end to the earth, all the while discharging carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals into our neighborhoods (literally).  Our methods of growing food (and transporting it to urban centers) rely extensively on fossil fuels, and further contaminate the very soil, water, and air we require for health.  We throw things away after a single use, most of us having no idea (or care) where those paper and plastic products go (you may be horrified if you do a little research in this area).  And we certainly over-populate.  We have acted like guests that won’t stop partying.  Using the celebration analogy, it’s time to cease the perma-celebration (i.e., realize our lifeways are not sustainable).  Not all the guests are going to like this because it will demand they do their part cleaning and repairing the home (i.e., healing the forests and rivers we have devastated).  Given there are so ...

 (Finish reading this short article)


Connect with the Delta Institute of Natural History:


The Delta Institute of Natural History cooperates with several schools, associations, and individuals for events.  Following are some of those important partners.  
Surthrival offers premier natural health products help people thrive through all circumstances.  
The Maine Primitive Skills School is reconnecting people to ancient technologies and back to themselves.    

Traditional chef Frank Giglio presents healthy cooking and a return to the idea of using food as medicine.