Welcome to the UO Libraries Braiding Sweetgrass student research guide. Using the Common Reading theme of Listen. Learn. Act., the UO Libraries presents this guide for you to listen to, learn from, and act in response to the stories and the topics of Robin Wall Kimmerer's book. Robin Wall Kimmerer (Bodéwadmi) is a member of the Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation. To learn more about her tribe, other federally-recognized tribes in the US and in Oregon, visit the Additional Resources page of this guide. Please also review the information about Common Terms in Native American & Indigenous Studies.
Many of the stories and topics in Braiding Sweetgrass are of a sacred nature to the Potawatomi and other Native Peoples. We have endeavored to create this guide with respect and encourage readers of the book to consider the sacred meaning of sweetgrass, other sacred plants, and the stories from the Indigenous tribes in the book and in your local communities.
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A New York Times Bestseller
A Washington Post Bestseller
A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
Named a “Best Essay Collection of the Decade” by Literary Hub
A Washington Post “2020 Holiday Gift Guide” Recommendation
A Minneapolis Star Tribune “2020 Holiday Book Recommendation”
A Book Riot “Favorite Summer Read of 2020”
A Food Tank Reading Recommendation for Fall 2020
"What does it take to abandon what does not work and take the risks of uncertainty? We’ll need courage; we’ll need each other’s hands to hold and faith in the geese to catch us. It would help to sing. The landing might not be soft, but land holds many medicines. Propelled by love, ready to work, we can jump toward the world we want to co-create, with pockets full of seeds. And rhizomes."
Robin Wall Kimmerer is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. She serves as the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. Her research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses. In collaboration with tribal partners, she and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people. She is active in efforts to broaden access to environmental science education for Native students, and to create new models for integration of indigenous philosophy and scientific tools on behalf of land and culture. She is engaged in programs which introduce the benefits of traditional ecological knowledge to the scientific community, in a way that respects and protects indigenous knowledge
"Pushing beyond mainstream green politics or policies of preservation and conservation, Kimmerer expertly outlines the crucial relationships and responsibilities Native peoples have long maintained with the non-human world, relationships and responsibilities that require a fundamentally reciprocal interaction."
"[Kimmerer] offers the hope of human-plant interaction as life-giving reciprocity in which we engage, whether we remember it or not. [...] Rather than the typical environmental message of doom and destruction, she calls us to see our integral part in the world, our 'participatory role'."
"This is the best book I have read on Native science. [...] The reader is drawn into the sheer wonder that arises when we actively do good science. Kimmerer shows us that science can be a path toward kinship, and when we awaken to the intelligences around us, we become more fulfilled human beings."
The University of Oregon is located on Kalapuya Ilihi, the traditional indigenous homeland of the Kalapuya people. Following treaties between 1851 and 1855, Kalapuya people were dispossessed of their indigenous homeland by the United States government and forcibly removed to the Coast Reservation in Western Oregon. Today, descendants are citizens of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians of Oregon, and continue to make important contributions in their communities, at UO, and across the land we now refer to as Oregon.
The UO Libraries has operations and repositories at various locations in Oregon, and wishes to acknowledge the traditional homelands of the Kalapuyan peoples (Eugene area); Chinook, Clackamas, Kalapuya, Kathlamet, Molalla, Multnomah, Tualatin, and other tribes and bands (Portland area); and the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw (Charleston area). [...]
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