Knox 2022 Fall Book Study
Braiding Sweetgrass:Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants (2015)
by Robin Wall Kimmerer
“A New York Times Bestseller”
Named a “Best Essay Collection of the Decade” by Literary Hub
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth and learn to give our own gifts in return.
In this book, you’ll learn; what sweetgrass is and how its faith is intertwined with the Potawatomi people; that reciprocity is a guiding principle among the Potawatomi people; and how learning to give back could be the salvation of our environment.
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology.