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Check It Out: Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

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This is Sarah Enright, with the Sioux City Public Library, and you’re listening to Check It Out.

Today, I am recommending, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. As a trained botanist and a tribal member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer seamlessly blends her scientific knowledge of our ecosystem with Native American traditions that were passed down through generations and ingrained in her from a young age. The result is this lush book comprised of eloquent essays giving the reader, in part, a memoir that overlaps with connections to nature, cultural teachings, and plant education.

Through her stories of the past and present, Robin gives examples of the significance of plants and nature both directly and indirectly in human life. A common theme throughout the book is reciprocity, giving back to the land what it has given us. She states, “Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”

The insight and information presented in this book is impossible to encapsulate. For me, it triggered many different emotions throughout, but ultimately it sparked a renewed appreciation for plants and recognition of the gifts we are constantly receiving from nature.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer is one of the titles on our 2022 Adult Summer Reading List. Visit the Sioux City Public Library for more titles on the list and information on our Summer Reading Program.

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Verde Outdoor Media.

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