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Buffs One Read 2022-2023: Braiding Sweetgrass

Braiding Sweetgrass

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

The 2022-2023 Buffs OneRead offers a "braid of stories" that weaves together indigenous ways of knowing, scientific knowledge, and the experiences of an Anixhinabekwe scientist. Through powerful stories and reflections, Robin Wall Kimmerer celebrates the beauty and possibility found through a reciprocal relationship between the human and natural worlds. She invites readers to see plants as their teachers rather than subjects and to celebrate the gifts of the earth.

Cover art by Milkweed Editions.



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When we're looking at things we cherish falling apart, when inequities and injustices are so apparent, people are looking for another way that we can be living. We need interdependence rather than independence, and Indigenous knowledge has a message of valuing connection, especially to the humble.

The New York Times Book Review

Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass offers a brilliantly accessible entrance into Indigenous Studies and Critical Plant Studies and a stunning reconsideration of human-plant subjectivity and interconnectivity.


Kimmerer's approach is nested in story, both personal and traditional, as much as in scientific hypothesis and experiment...Her writing fluently interweaves scientific observation, personal memoir, traditional story, ethical exhortation, critical analysis, and philosophical reflection.

Environmental Philosophy

Although she writes poignantly about the traumas of ongoing climate change, the massive genocide of the Indigenous peoples of North America, and the devastation of vast industrial pollution that fills entire water systems with toxic sludge, Kimmerer’s primary assertion in the book is that we all live, breathe, and eat through systems of reciprocity that are best understood as a “gift economy.”


Once in a great while a book emerges that pushes our knowledge forward and gives us new tools for growth. In a time when humanity is collectively estranged from the land, when we seem to have forgotten the intelligence of the species around us, and when we extract natural resources without thought, Robin Wall Kimmerer awakens us to a rich and meaningful world that is all around us.

Fourth World Journal

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, which has earned Kimmerer wide acclaim. Her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. Photo by Matt Rott.

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