Heartwood Student Book Club discussion

Indigenous Wisdom > Braiding Sweetgrass

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message 1: by Tish (new)

Tish Romanov | 9 comments Mod
This is a thread to discuss specifically:

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

By Robin Wall Kimmerer.

Feel free to post your thoughts, comments, and musings in this thread.

message 2: by Tish (new)

Tish Romanov | 9 comments Mod
I can't wait to read this book; it is next on my list. It's been sitting on my kindle just waiting for me to get to it. I enjoy Robin's lectures very much, so I hope that her book will be as good, if not better!

message 3: by Tish (new)

Tish Romanov | 9 comments Mod
I have just begun reading this book, and I am enjoying it already. I wasn't able to learn much last night for various reasons, but I cannot wait to sink my teeth into it tonight!

message 4: by Alison (new)

Alison Kirkham | 4 comments Hi everyone,

I have read the first chapter and I echo what Tish says......I am hooked in! The story of Skywoman is beautiful and actually made me cry when contrasted with our Western creationist ideas, the undertone that our narratives are abusive to women really resonates with me having been brought up with the Adam and Eve story!

Two quotes that I love from this first chapter are, firstly talking about ceremony which is something very close to my heart; "Our elders say that ceremonies are the way we "remember to remember"......" I love that for so many reasons, particularly as in my job as a funeral celebrant I am often asked "What is a funeral really for?"

Secondly, with regard to the state of the world; "Plants know how to make food and medicine from light and water, and then give it away." Could it really be as simple as that?

message 5: by Alison (new)

Alison Kirkham | 4 comments I let out deep sighs of contentment as I read chapter after chapter and as I move through this book I relate to so much of what Robin says particularly about motherhood, but I also marvel at the insightful way she has led her life and how she relates back all the time to nature. The chapter that has really inspired me is ‘Allegiance to Gratitude’, Robin talks about her daughters schooling, her sixth grade refusal to stand and say the American Pledge of Allegiance, and she contrasts this with the local Onondaga Nation and their schools Thanksgiving Address. This contrast is so stark and so very sad. That there are people in this word, living under the radar teaching their children in this tender and beautiful way, that they have been subdued by the hypocrisy of the Pledge of Allegiance......l have no words 🙁 Still Robin holds you tight and shares the Thanksgiving Address in full with determination and hope, and as I dry my eyes I am ready to read on.

message 6: by Tish (new)

Tish Romanov | 9 comments Mod
I agree, the pledge of allegiance does smack of repression. I did not pledge as a kid and we flew out US flag upside down as a distress signal. It still flies upside down on Reservations across the US. This book is full of love, compassion and giving. She is right, Native people are giving, our cultures are based on that premise. We don't own things, they are gifted by the earth, as my great great grandfather solemnly told a US general: One does not own the land one walks upon. It is a gift.

message 7: by Tish (new)

Tish Romanov | 9 comments Mod
Our flag, not out flag lol

message 8: by Alison (new)

Alison Kirkham | 4 comments I have finished the book in tears, the writing and the narrative are so beautiful, I want to quote but I won’t in case it spoils it for those who haven’t finished it. Although there are tears in my eyes, there is also hope in my heart. This is such a treasure of a book, and one word will now live on with me......reciprocity.......a practice so badly needed and in so many ways, but most importantly for our relationship with Mother Earth. An absolutely beautiful book.

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