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District Book Read 21-22: Braiding Sweetgrass: Braiding Sweetgrass

Discussion information

We'll be discussing this wonderful book via zoom on three dates this quarter. Everyone is welcome! If you received a free copy of the book, we ask that you participate in at least one discussion. You do not have to have read the whole book (or even parts!) for this discussion to be useful and enjoyable. Come see what it's about!

  • Discussion 1 will be February 2nd, 2-3pm, and will cover the Introduction and Part 1: p IX - 60.
  • Discussion 2 will be February 10th, 3-4pm = and will cover Parts 2 & 3: p 61-198.
  • Discussion 3 will be February 17th,  2-3pm = and will cover Parts 4 & 5, and the Epilogue : p 199-376

You can find the Zoom link in campus email.

Get your copy!

Thanks to funding from District Professional Development, the office of the Vice President for EDI, and Student Leadership, a limited number of copies of the book are available to current faculty, staff, and students for free!

Fill out this short form to reserve your copy: Braiding Sweetgrass Book Request Form

The Library will contact you when your copy is ready for pick from the Checkout Desk.

Note: Participants from North or South can contact their libraries directly to ask about how they can get a copy of the book.

Watch This

District Book Read Selection

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

Braiding Sweetgrass book cover

by Robin Wall Kimmerer

“Braiding Sweetgrass is instructive poetry. Robin Wall Kimmerer has put the spiritual relationship that Chief Seattle called the ‘web of life’ into writing. Industrial societies lack the understanding of the interrelationships that bind all living things―this book fills that void. I encourage one and all to read these instructions.”―Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Onondaga Nation and Indigenous Environmental Leader

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 are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together 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).

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 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 will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.  --- from the publisher

Guide created by Ana Villar, Oct. 2021


Robin Wall Kimmerer, author

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Read Online!

You can access a ebook version of the book and read it online via the library:

Audio book at the Seattle Public Library

The Seattle Public Library offers a downloadable audio book that's read by the author. (All students can get a library card free. Details on how to sign up here.)