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Braiding Sweetgrass Blog | Part Three: Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific knowledge

by Jacob Smit on 2023-12-06T10:38:00-08:00 in Anthropology, Biology, Cultural Anthropology, Culture Studies, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Indigenous Studies, Marine and Conservation Biology | 0 Comments


Thank you for joining us in discussing this year’s common text, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. In Part 1: Reciprocity and Communalism and Part 2: Gift, Gratitude, and Responsibility we began by offering additional methods of exploring the themes presented in Braiding Sweetgrass. Please share your insights with us and your peers. 

Kimmerer presents a holistic approach of using all the resources available to us in both indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge––and the benefits of using both. At Seattle University, we aim to expand our perspectives on cultural identity, recognize voices that are unheard or silenced, and always question what’s presented as an absolute. Open-mindedness, advocacy, and inquisitiveness enrich our learning and lives as well as those around us.  

Please join our three-part blog series discussing several of the themes from Braiding Sweetgrass. Share your thoughts with us in-person at the Library and in the comment section below, or if these serve simply as internal prompts for you, your friends, and peers that is also a wonderful outcome. You will also find suggested titles for further reading below; these reflect the Library’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.  

We look forward to your contributions and thank you for reading!


Braiding Sweetgrass Blog | Part Three: Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific knowledge 

In Braiding Sweetgrass readers are reminded of the interconnectivity of all living things. Kimmerer does a wonderful job of presenting the benefits of approaching our relationship with the natural world with both scientific and indigenous wisdom in mind. Like many things in life, finding complements between the two is important. With a balance of scientific and indigenous knowledge, humans can be better caretakers of the earth––and in return see the benefit of the symbiosis.  

Indigenous cultures value connections and interdependence among all living things. The resources humans consume, or exploit have a profound impact on sustaining Earth. 

  •  What does it mean to be a good caretaker of the earth?   


Discover related titles in the current Library display inspired by Braiding Sweetgrass (LEML floor 3) 

You're sure to find something you'll love in the current Library display. You'll find elements of indigenous wisdom, ethnobotany, nature-bathing, native plants and ecology, nature-focused philosophy, indigenous culture and connection with the earth, as well as information about local indigenous communities, and fiction by indigenous authors. 


Look for new books purchased for the Library collection supporting themes of cultural diversity, sustainability and more:   

People and plants in ancient western North America 

Ancient pathways, ancestral knowledge: ethnobotany and ecological wisdom of Indigenous peoples of northwestern North America 

Indigenous food sovereignty in the United States: restoring cultural knowledge, protecting environments, and regaining health 

As long as grass grows : the indigenous fight for environmental justice from colonization to Standing Rock 

Sacred instructions: indigenous wisdom for living spirit-based change 

Plants, people, and places: the roles of ethnobotany and ethnoecology in Indigenous peoples' land rights in Canada and beyond 

Finding the mother tree: discovering the wisdom of the forest 


Explore the Library’s databases and online catalog via the following links, subject headings or combinations of headings: 

eHRAF World Cultures - 

JSTOR – Environmental sciences; General Sciences; Food Studies; Sociology and more -  


Indigenous peoples; Coast Salish Indians 


Indigenous art 

Conservation; Conservation and Protection  

Corporate culture  

Environmental education 

Environmental protection-religious aspects 

Food habits 

Land use 

Manufacturing and processes – environmental aspects 


Sustainability; sustainable development; sustainable urban development 


Human ecology 


Plants; edible plants; medicinal plants 


Cover photo by Jacob Smithers


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Braiding Sweetgrass Blog | Part Three: Indigenous Wisdom and Scientific knowledge
Explore and contribute to our continued conversation on this year's common text: "Braiding Sweetgrass". Part 3 covers the theme of "indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge". Please read and share your thoughts in the comments!


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