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

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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.

Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of a book all about reestablishing our connection with nature, clearly accomplishes only one of these, as far as I can tell (independent research suggests she is vegan). This is not a problem unique to Kimmerer as an environmentalist--we are all hypocrites, in the paradigm of climate change. But I found myself particularly bothered in this case, because there is an attitude pervading this book that the degradation of nature is their fault. Whose fault? The West's. But not Kimmerer's. She may not say it explicitly, but the attitude of the book is that she is a messenger of ancient Truth to the hyper-technologized masses about how to live in harmony with the earth. Feminism for the 99%: A Manifesto and Social Reproduction Theory: Remapping Class, Recentring Oppression Ultimately, though, my biggest criticism of the book is its over-reliance on spirituality as a solution to very material problems. At the end of the day, these problems can only be solved through action. And even then, I do not believe that 7+ billion people can live sustainably on this planet, no matter how devoted to the earth each person may be. In a world plagued by environmental degradation and a growing disconnect between humanity and nature, "Braiding Sweetgrass" emerges as a beacon of hope and a powerful call to action for the next generation. Written with passion, connection, and root deep understanding of the urgent need for change, this book serves as a guidebook for all minds seeking to live harmoniously with the earth and restore our planet to the home she once was.Beautifully written . . . Anyone who enjoys reading about natural history, botany, protecting na­ture, or Native American culture will love this book 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. In a world where only six percent of mammalian biomass on the planet now comprises of wild animals, I longed for books that pressed me up against the inhuman, that connected me to an inhuman world. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer moved me to actual tears." —Alexandra Kleeman, The Millions spiritually, sweetgrass symbolizes love, peace, harmony, strength, purity, positivity, and connection to Mother Earth …

My husband, (Paul, the guy I talk about often) and I have both been listening to the audiobook … then having swing-chair conversations in the yard…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. While I was listening to it on my daily walks, it caused me to see the world in a new light, which is something I think all good books will do. It definitely makes me more aware of my impact on the earth and to consider what I give and take from my environment. The idea of reciprocity is paramount to the restoration of the world, and until humans learn to give as much as we take from it, we are doomed. Braiding Sweetgrass" is a timely and essential read for anyone concerned about the future of our planet. It serves as a whisper from our past, reminding us that we hold the power and responsibility to heal and restore our environment. Through its powerful storytelling and thought-provoking insights, this book has the potential to ignite a generation of passionate environmental stewards who will work tirelessly to protect and preserve our Earth Mother. Global South’s censored struggles for decolonization, expanded human rights, internationalist nationalism, economic justice, global disarmament, etc. 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.

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