Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants❴BOOKS❵ ⚦ Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants Author Robin Wall Kimmerer – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals a As a botanist, Robin Indigenous Wisdom, eBook ↠ Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer Braiding Sweetgrass: ePUB ô brings these lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider 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 are Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, PDF ´ we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learning to give our own gifts in return. What if you were a teacher but had no voice to speak your knowledge What if you had no language at all and yet there was something you needed to say Wouldn t you dance it Wouldn t you act it out Wouldn t your every movement tell the story In time you would be so eloquent that just to gaze upon you would reveal it all And so it is with these silent green lives Robin Wall Kimmerer,Braiding SweetgrassIn 2007, Yann Martel compiled a reading list for Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harp What if you were a teacher but had no voice to speak your knowledge What if you had no language at all and yet there was something you needed to say Wouldn t you dance it Wouldn t you act it out Wouldn t your every movement tell the story In time you would be so eloquent that just to gaze upon you would reveal it all And so it is with these silent green lives Robin Wall Kimmerer,Braiding SweetgrassIn 2007, Yann Martel compiled a reading list for Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper People on Twitter was discussing other books to add to the list to make itdiverse Our PM isn t that great with environmental issues or indigenous issues, so this is one book I would recommend this book to him if he s not too busy meeting panda bears.This is by far one of the most important books I ve read this year The author is a scientist but she is also a poet Her writing is absolutely stunning and eloquent Her love for the land, especially the land she grew up on, comes through very clearly in her writing There is acknowledgement that the previously ignored indigenous cultures and knowledge are absolutely essential As much as I focus on indigenous research in my studies, this is the first time I have seen the focus being on science This book was definitely a shout out to indigenous culture and knowledge, knowledge that is often ignored by academia, or seen as wishy washy or not true science My natural inclination was to see relationships, to seek the threads that connect the world, to join instead of divide But science is rigorous in separating the observer from the observed, and the observed from the observer The book clearly states the importance of the land, for so many reasons sustenance, healing, etc While reading this, I thought of how my mother had had asthma as a child but my grandfather, who was very familiar with traditional African medicine which was of course seen as backwards by Western medicine knew which plant medicine to give my mother She doesn t have asthma any My grandfather also helped with my sister s anaemia by boiling guava leaves in water and giving her the liquid to drink this helps to replenish iron levels What sort of knowledge is dying out because people aren t interested in the land any My grandfather passed away and I wonder who has the knowledge of the herb that cured my mother s asthma.The author uses incidents from her personal life, as well as myths, to enrich her insight on nature, plants and the land The book is relatively heavy on the science biology but I think basic high school biology knowledge is enough to understand most of the processes Also included in the book is the sad history of the Natives in North America, the death of language, the near extermination of their culture and what it means to the world as a whole In the settler mind, land was property, real estate, capital or natural resources But to our people, it was everything identity, the connection to our ancestors, the home of our nonhuman kinfolk, our pharmacy, our library, the source of all that sustained us.It belonged to itself it was a gift, not a commodity, so it could never be sold After reading this, I feel compelled to observe natureclosely, plant vegetables, look at possible relationships between plants, tap maple trees for syrup, something The most engaging science book I ve ever read and one I d recommend to anyone One of my goals this year was to readnon fiction, a goal I believe I accomplished Never thought I would rate my last three non fiction reads 5 stars This was a wonderful, wonderful book It teaches the reader so many things about plants and nature in general Different animals and how the indigenous people learned from watching them and plants, the trees tis is how they learned to survive, when they had little.teaches us about thankfulness, gratitude and how often we take these wonderfu One of my goals this year was to readnon fiction, a goal I believe I accomplished Never thought I would rate my last three non fiction reads 5 stars This was a wonderful, wonderful book It teaches the reader so many things about plants and nature in general Different animals and how the indigenous people learned from watching them and plants, the trees tis is how they learned to survive, when they had little.teaches us about thankfulness, gratitude and how often we take these wonderful things in nature for granted How important traditions are, languages and family How much we can learn from others I am so glad I bought this book, because though I seldom re read I can see myself picking this book up and reading a chapter, pretty much any chapter, and reminding myself of all I have A book I hope never to forget This is an important and a beautiful book We are discussing it here than repeating all my thoughts I post the link.On completion I don t give that many books five stars They have to qualify as amazing The author writes so you understand the value of nature, of the gift that is given to all of us She shows us that a gift is tied with responsibility Only if you understand that you have received a gift do you feel the responsibility to reciproca This is an important and a beautiful book We are discussing it here than repeating all my thoughts I post the link.On completion I don t give that many books five stars They have to qualify as amazing The author writes so you understand the value of nature, of the gift that is given to all of us She shows us that a gift is tied with responsibility Only if you understand that you have received a gift do you feel the responsibility to reciprocate She opens our eyes to what has been given us She also shows us how to handle the despair one can so easily feel What is the point I can do nothing She gives us hope, and that is what is necessary so we don t just give up She wonderfully intertwines science with marvelous tales of the indigenous people You can read the book just for these tales You can read the book to learn scientific detail of flora and fauna For example about strawberries, pecans, cattails, salamanders, maples and of course sweetgrass Absolutely fascinating You can read the book for inspiration she is a single mother who has raised her kids alone And what a fantastic job she has done She remains humble To top it all off she writes beautifully Occasionally I felt she was long winded, but her message had to be made clear so we all really understand Her message is SO important to all of us This book is available on Kindle If you try it and you don t like it, you can get your money back if you return it within a week What can you lose I know, I am too pushy but I think this is such an important book I feel I must justify my rating of this book as some of my peers would disagree with me First, I simply did not enjoy the book stylistically While I treasure creative nonfiction essays, I find Kimmerer s language over reaching in its poetic pursuits If this were my only qualm with Braiding Sweetgrass, I would be able to overlook it However, Kimmerer s lengthy prose poetry is coupled with an over generalized critique of American Western Christian culture often conflating all three instead of I feel I must justify my rating of this book as some of my peers would disagree with me First, I simply did not enjoy the book stylistically While I treasure creative nonfiction essays, I find Kimmerer s language over reaching in its poetic pursuits If this were my only qualm with Braiding Sweetgrass, I would be able to overlook it However, Kimmerer s lengthy prose poetry is coupled with an over generalized critique of American Western Christian culture often conflating all three instead of recognizing the nuances between them Kimmerer understandably favors her native culture, but in her efforts to emphasize its goodness, she often misrepresents the other side For example, in her first chapter, she compares the Skywoman legend with Eve in Eden, claiming that Skywoman is inherently in harmony with nature while Eve is at war with it I found this problematic as she neglects the further complexities of the Eden story the presence of Adam and God for starters Her version of the Christian creation story juxtaposed with the Skywoman tale certainly implies that Western society as in typical Western society, for certainly her people were further west first is at odds with nature due to their foundation myths However, this certainly is not the case it is quite clear that when Moses speaks of subduing the earth, he does not mean to destroy but to cultivate, for it is obvious we require it to survive This is merely one example from the many I found I did give the book two instead of one star as I feel it is important for us to engage with conversations and cultures so radically different from our own, and Kimmerer certainly does well in representing her heritage The book also addresses a significant, though often mocked, topic of conversation the troubling state of our relationship with nature I understand Kimmerer s attempted message, but I find her rhetoric unconvincing due to its repetitiveness and her tendency towards misrepresentation of the West and idealization of her own culture.In all fairness, however, aren t we all prone to this same fault It s difficult to rate this book, because it so frequently veered from two to five stars for me Five stars for the beauty of some of Robin Wall Kimmerer s writing in many essays chapters Five stars for introducing me to Sweetgrass, its many Native American traditions, and her message of caring for and showing gratitude for the Earth Five stars for the author s honest telling of her growth as a learner and a professor, and the impressions she must have made on college students unaccustomed to It s difficult to rate this book, because it so frequently veered from two to five stars for me Five stars for the beauty of some of Robin Wall Kimmerer s writing in many essays chapters Five stars for introducing me to Sweetgrass, its many Native American traditions, and her message of caring for and showing gratitude for the Earth Five stars for the author s honest telling of her growth as a learner and a professor, and the impressions she must have made on college students unaccustomed to observing or interacting with nature But just two stars for the repetitive themes, the disorganization of the book as a whole, the need for editing and shortening in many places I wish Robin Wall Kimmerer had written three short books instead of one long book I would have liked to read just about Sweetgrass and the customs surrounding it, to read just about her journey as a Native American scientist and professor, or to read just about her experiences as a mother The various themes didn t braid together as well as Sweetgrass itself does I read this book in a book club, and one of the others brought some braided Sweetgrass to our meeting I felt euphoric inhaling the intense fragrance, and truly understood why the author would name a book after this plant Oh my goodness, what an absolutely gorgeous book with possibly the best nature writing I ve ever read I read this book almost like a book of poetry, and it was a delightful one to sip and savor This book has taught me so much, hopefully changed me for the better forever It was heartbreaking to realize my nearly total disconnection from the earth, and painful to see the world again, slowly and in pieces I m sure there is still so much I can t see But I m grateful for this book and I recommend it to every single person A wonderfully written nonfiction exploring indigenous culture and diaspora, appreciating nature, and what we can do to help protect and honor the land we live upon This nonfiction the power of language, especially learning the language of your ancestors to connect you to your culture as well as the heartbreaking fact that indigenous children who were banned from speaking anything from English in academic settings It also greatly touches upon how humans and nature impact one another and how we A wonderfully written nonfiction exploring indigenous culture and diaspora, appreciating nature, and what we can do to help protect and honor the land we live upon This nonfiction the power of language, especially learning the language of your ancestors to connect you to your culture as well as the heartbreaking fact that indigenous children who were banned from speaking anything from English in academic settings It also greatly touches upon how humans and nature impact one another and how we should appreciate the journey that food and nature have taken to get to our tables and backyards Kimmerer also brings up how untouched land is now polluted and forgotten, how endangered species need to be protected, how we can take part in caring for nature, especially during the climate crisis that we are currently experiencing and have caused due to our carelessness and lack of concern for other species.Basically, Kimmerer touches upon a vast array of topics that I am greatly interested in She expanded my knowledge and also reminded me to slow down and appreciate the process of life, growth, and the journey nature goes on I m really glad I picked up this well narrated audiobook As we struggle to imagine a future not on fire, we are gifted here with an indigenous culture of reciprocity with the land, revived and weaved together with the science of ecologywe restore the land, and the land restores us .The Brilliant In another life, I may have pursued ecology Instead, I ve spent my spare time reading deconstructions of capitalism imperialism It has been a challenge balancing this deconstruction with the social imagination for healing and reconstruction I can t re As we struggle to imagine a future not on fire, we are gifted here with an indigenous culture of reciprocity with the land, revived and weaved together with the science of ecologywe restore the land, and the land restores us .The Brilliant In another life, I may have pursued ecology Instead, I ve spent my spare time reading deconstructions of capitalism imperialism It has been a challenge balancing this deconstruction with the social imagination for healing and reconstruction I can t remember where I started seeing all the glowing reviews, but it was settled for me when I saw one by Mexie PhD grad in political economy, find her on YouTube However, it took patience for my modernist, distracted side to settle into the rhythm of the storytelling after re reading the first 3 chapters, things finally clicked, and then the remaining chapters came in waves The author s journey to relearn her Potawatomi heritage and synthesize it with her scientific teaching career in plant ecology was the perfect format for a reader evendisconnected from the land and culture Had this been a collection of indigenous stories, I would not have been ready for it Through her own trials and errors, we begin to see what it means for humans to receive the gifts of the land, establish gratitude, and build relationships of reciprocity with nonhumans and the land Beautiful examples of symbiosis between plants, animals, and humans are revealed through the author s poetic dance between indigenous stories and ecological science The author explains what the tool of science is useful for and what it is not i.e knowing does not build a culture of caring, an indigenous worldview , and further contrasts the practice of science from the science worldview i.e in the context of reductionist materialist control, the illusion of dominance and control, the separation of knowledge from responsibility We carefully unravel land as property commodity in a consumerist society of manufactured scarcity and endless growth , land as natural resource, land as machine mechanistic reductionism, where humans are the drivers , and,subtly, land as separate from humans where humans can only do harm to nature We carefully rebuild land as indigenous, where nonhuman beings are subjects, not objects, and where humans have humility to not be the sole drivers thus, listening to the wisdom and stories of the nonhuman beings that are our elders on the land Page by page, story by story, we start to reimagine land as sacred I give detailed breakdowns of nonfiction, but this is a book of stories for you to experience I dream of a world guided by a lens of stories rooted in the revelations of science and framed with an indigenous worldview stories in which matter and spirit are both given voice.The Missing I m all about synthesis, and there s much work to do with connecting the gifts here with political economy, geopolitics and strategies for systemic change A related synthesis is ecosocialism socialist political economy Earth Systems Science after all, Marx s analysis of capitalism s contradictions use value exchange value , commodity fetishism , endless accumulation, etc provides useful insights when comparing market economy vs gift economy, and his hints at capitalism s rift in social metabolism relationship between society and nature is foundational Facing the Anthropocene Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System The Ecological Rift Karl Marx s Ecosocialism Capital, Nature, and the Unfinished Critique of Political Economy Mind you, political economy has not been just deconstruction I ve been inspired by the social imagination of 1 Vijay Prashad on the Global South s censored struggles for decolonization, expanded human rights, internationalist nationalism, economic justice, global disarmament, etc Detailed analysis The Darker Nations A People s History of the Third World Global decolonization playlist decolonization and Civil Rights David Graeber s anthropology on human economies in contrast to market economies Debt Updated and Expanded The First 5,000 Years also heard good reviews for Sacred Economics Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition This is related to works on the commons and care work social reproduction Silvia Federici, Nancy Folbre, Tithi Bhattacharya, etc If there is one book you would want the President to read this year, what would it be This question was asked of a popular fiction writer who took not a moment s thought before saying, my own of course She is wrong The book the President should read, that all of us who care about the future of the planet should read, is Robin Kimmerer s Braiding Sweetgrass.This is one of the most important books written on the environment since Silent Spring Kimmerer blends her scientific background as an et If there is one book you would want the President to read this year, what would it be This question was asked of a popular fiction writer who took not a moment s thought before saying, my own of course She is wrong The book the President should read, that all of us who care about the future of the planet should read, is Robin Kimmerer s Braiding Sweetgrass.This is one of the most important books written on the environment since Silent Spring Kimmerer blends her scientific background as an ethno botanist with Potawatomi Tradition Ecological Knowledge in an astonishingly poetic book There are few books that I put down at the end of chapters so that I can take them in and dream around them before going on This is one of them The best of books make me have to get up and walk around One of those I remember is Red on Red, by Craig Womack Kimmerer was told in college that her reason for wanting to be a botanist was aesthetic rather than scientific Turns out it is both I cried when I read this chapter I was told the same thing in the late sixties, that animals never mind plants did not communicate, and had no emotions Unlike Kimmerer, I decided not to continue as a scientist Kimmerer had the courage I did not, and pursued a doctorate in ethno botany She considers her training as a scientist as one of many tools that she can use in understanding the living world When I was a girl, I never felt American, and to me the american flag was just a piece of cloth The first time I saw the flag with the leaf of the Red Maple on the white background, I got so excited this was a flag I could relate to, even rally around I thought, though I didn t have the words for it, that it was the flag of what Kimmerer names as the Maple Nation I was disappointed when I found out it was a flag of a human government, though also interested that Canada would choose that living symbol And this brings me to the most important thing about this book Kimmerer brings the reader into a Native understanding of the world, that there are in fact, Nations that are not human, that all beings are persons.Let me say that again All beings are persons It is the root of our relatedness to the world, our seeing ourselves as not separate, but part of a web of relations that includes the green world, the animal world, the world of streams and lakes and ocean, of clouds and rain, sunlight and starlight, and that our relationship to each of them is, or should be, an intimate, person to person relationship.This does not come from a romantic, but rather from a very pragmatic Native view She takes us through the woods with a class, where she is not the all knowing teacher, but rather the intermediary for the real teacher, the woods, the marsh, the earth She shows us how indigenous systems work in a sustainable way, and what an Honorable Harvest means She approaches wild leeks and asks permission to take some for the dinner she wants to cook for her daughters That is, she acknowledges their personhood, and that it is a gift they are giving in being our food But how do you ask permission What does that mean And how do listen for the answer How do you listen to the Grand Banks when you ask permission to fish Kimmerer says you use both sides of your brain First, analytically, you pay attention Is the population healthy Is it thriving Are there enough to share with us She digs a small clump of leeks and notices that they are weak, the bulbs poorly developed So, even though she wants to make her visiting daughters this meal that would remind them of childhood meals they made together in spring, she puts them back, tucks them back into the earth, and leaves.She doesn t do what many of us would do, that is, take them anyway and complain about how the leeks are bad this year She accepts that the leeks are not thriving, puts them back, leaves with thanks, and the gift of replanting and care giving.As for the right brain, Kimmerer says you must listen with your heart, with your spirit Is there a sense of generosity, or a kind of holding back or reticence This kind of listening is valued as much as the analyticain the Native world Though it is harder to talk about, it is no less real.One of the most interesting, and important things Kimmerer has to say is about becoming indigenous There are so many wannabe Indians out there, as well as people who really do want to have a better relationship with the land, but don t know how.Kimmerer say, no, you can t become indigenous You are immigrants, not from this place Your people have not lived for thousands of years on this land But, she says, you can become naturalized What does that mean She uses the example of Plantain, an English plant that came over with the colonists, and soon was found all over the northeast It is a useful plant that willingly shares its medicine And it blends into the land, does not crowd out indigenous species, unlike Kudzu and other plants that destroy the ecosystems they invade So, my new bumper sticker would read Be Plantain, Not Kudzu.This is such a creative response and challenge to the wannabes Don t dress up in feathers and go to pow wows and invent indian princess great grandmothers Naturalize Learn how to be a person among persons Learn to listen, really listen, which means learning about the Maple Nation and all the other Nations, not romanticizing them as Mother Earth without doing the work of becoming intimate with the land you are, after all, a part of.There is so muchin this book, I cannot praise it enough Kimmerer thought she had to choose between science and poetry, but in Braiding Sweetgrass, she shows us that she is both a scientist and a writer with a poet s visiion, and a keeper of Traditional Knowledge There is hope for a sustainable earth on the other side of climate change and the fall of industrial civilization It is possible to replant a forest, to reinvigorate a coastal ecosystem Our stories say that in earliest times, all the beings could talk to each other Kimmerer says, if we listen hard enough, we can still hear enough to be good relations.I say, with the greatest respect, Wlwni, Robin Kimmerer Thank you

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific
  • Hardcover
  • 391 pages
  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
  • Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • English
  • 24 July 2019
  • 1571313354