Robin Kimmerer on Life-Changing Lessons to Nurture Your Soul Thru Indigenous Wisdom!

Listen to the podcast below!




If you’ve ever wanted to rekindle your connection with nature, mother earth, and the natural world around you, then do we have the Braiding Sweetgrass show for you.

Today I’ll be talking with Dr. Robin Kimmerer. Dr. Kimmerer is a mother, plant ecologist, writer and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York; and the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. She’s the author of several beautiful books including my new all-time favorite on reconnecting us to the natural world and mother earth, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants.

And that’s just what I want to talk with her about today, about Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the teaching of plants.

That plus we’ll talk about the importance of saving tadpoles, grandfathers and pecans, why asters and goldenron look so beautiful together, how squirrels get maple syrup, how firewood warms you twice, why asters and goldenrod look so beautiful together, a shiny red kayak, and what a Louis Vieux Elm has to do with anything!

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Dr. Kimmerer is a mother, plant ecologist, writer and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. She serves as the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. Her research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses. In collaboration with tribal partners, she and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people. She is active in efforts to broaden access to environmental science education for Native students, and to create new models for integration of indigenous philosophy and scientific tools on behalf of land and culture. She is engaged in programs which introduce the benefits of traditional ecological knowledge to the scientific community, in a way that respects and protects indigenous knowledge.

Dr. Kimmerer has taught courses in botany, ecology, ethnobotany, indigenous environmental issues as well as a seminar in application of traditional ecological knowledge to conservation. She is the co-founder and past president of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section of the Ecological Society of America.  Dr. Kimmerer serves as a Senior Fellow for the Center for Nature and Humans. Of European and Anishinaabe ancestry, Robin is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. Dr. Kimmerer is the author of numerous scientific papers on the ecology of mosses and restoration ecology and on the contributions of traditional ecological knowledge to our understanding of the natural world. She is also active in literary biology. Her essays appear in Whole Terrain, Adirondack Life, Orion and several anthologies. She is the author of “Gathering Moss” which incorporates both traditional indigenous knowledge and scientific perspectives and was awarded the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing in 2005. She has served as writer in residence at the Andrews Experimental Forest, Blue Mountain Center, the Sitka Center and the Mesa Refuge.  Her latest book “Braiding Sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants” was released in 2013.


Robin Kimmerer Online: Website | Facebook

Key Topics:

  • An indigenous creation story
  • What were original instructions
  • What we can learn from pecan’s
  • How one can be raised by strawberries
  • What’s the minetowac or the giveaway ceremony
  • What’s the teaching of reciprocity?
  • What it means to have an allegiance to gratitude
  • What it means to pledge allegiance to the nation of maples
  • What’s the Louis Vieux Elm
  • What’s the importance of our language
  • What’s the grammar of animacy
  • What did colonials and settler’s lose through the language
  • What’s the danger of the word “it”
  • What it means to be open to the possibility of being-ness
  • What’s the importance of having gratitude for the water
  • What it means to understand the concept of one bowl and one spoon
  • Indigenous words of wisdom for our kids
  • What is braiding sweetgrass

Related Podcasts:

INSPIRE #457: DISCOVER THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES! (Peter Wohlleben, “The Hidden Life Of Trees”)


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