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Integrative Learning: Earth Justice: Introduction

WATCH "Not For Any Price"

This 15-minute documentary describes how the Lummi Nation put their treaty rights on the line to protect natural resources for everyone.

Northwest Treaty Tribes

northwest treaty tribes logo native american fish

The 20 treaty Indian tribes in western Washington are leaders in efforts to protect and restore natural resources in the region. At the heart of those efforts are rights reserved by the tribes in treaties with the U.S. government. Tribes reserved rights to harvest fish, shellfish, wildlife and other natural resources in exchange for most of the land that makes up the region today. Because all natural resources are connected, and because of their role as co-managers with the state, treaty tribes are active in every aspect of natural resources management in western Washington. As a result, tribal treaty rights and natural resources management efforts are protecting and enhancing natural resources for everyone. 

Learn more at Northwest Treaty Tribes: Protecting Natural Resources for Everyone

READ "Braiding Sweetgrass: Epilogue"

Epilogue: Returning the Gift” from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants [Milkweed Editions, 2013, pp380-384]

NOTE: MySeattleColleges login required to access this ebook from the library's collection


“Generosity is simultaneously a moral and a material imperative, especially among people who live close to the land and know its waves of plenty and scarcity. Where the well-being of one is linked to the wellbeing of all. Wealth among traditional people is measured by having enough to give away.” (381) 

“The earth gives away for free the power of wind and sun and water, but instead we break open the earth to take fossil fuels. Had we taken only that which is given to us, had we reciprocated the gift, we would not have to fear our own atmosphere today.” (383) 

“We are all bound by a covenant of reciprocity: plant breath for animal breath, winter and summer, predator and prey, grass and fire, night and day, living and dying. Water knows this, clouds know this. Soil and rocks know they are dancing in a continuous giveaway of making, unmaking, and making again the earth.” (383) 

Robin Wall Kimmerer

photo of robin wall kimmerer with the cover of her book

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

Learn more at Robin Wall Kimmerer's web site


What is an Integrative Learning Project?

  • Students from different classes and academic disciplines come together to view a selected film and/or read a selected text.
  • Students discuss what they learned through an exchange of multiple perspectives about the intersecting issues of the theme gained from the selection(s), their classes, and their communities.
  • Students respond to the experience with research papers, poster, media presentations, and other assignments to share what they learned.