book coverAs 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 indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together in “Braiding Sweetgrass” to “take us on a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert, author, Eat, Pray, Love). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and 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 a rich braid of 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 a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement 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. Kimmerer’s first book, Gathering Moss, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing. Her writings have appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. She is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at the State University of New York, and the founder and director of the Centre for Native Peoples and the Environment. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants October 2013 ISBN 978-1-57131-335-5 Hardcover | 320 pp | $24 Milkweed Editions